The Minister of Public Safety says the Parole Board of Canada’s decision-making process will be reviewed after it found that Myles Sanderson would “not present an undue risk” to the public seven months before he became a suspect in Saskatchewan’s mass stabbing rampage.
Marco Mendicino said he has already been in discussions with the parole board and has been told there will be an investigation into the decision.
“I’m extremely concerned with what occurred here,” he said Tuesday in Vancouver, where he and other ministers have gathered for a three-day federal cabinet retreat.
“I am assured that the Parole Board of Canada will be undertaking an investigation of this decision. I think the process for review begins there but it certainly does not end at that point.”
Mr. Sanderson’s criminal history is both long and violent, beginning in his youth and spanning almost 20 years, with convictions for domestic violence, armed robbery and many other violent attacks.
At the time of the parole board report, Mr. Sanderson was serving a four-year, four-month prison sentence for a number of offences, including a violent scene at the home of his domestic partner and children, a double stabbing committed with a fork, beating a man until he was unconscious, and kicking a police officer in the face and on the top of the head repeatedly.
Mr. Sanderson was not released from prison early, but received statutory release after serving two-thirds of his sentence. Statutory release serves as a way of reintroducing federal offenders more slowly into society, by releasing them under conditions geared toward helping them reintegrate into the community.
“It is the board’s opinion that you will not present an undue risk to society if released on statutory release and that your release will contribute to the protection of society by facilitating your reintegration to society as a law-abiding citizen,” the report said.
His statutory release was suspended once, and Mr. Sanderson had been wanted by police in Saskatchewan since the spring, when he stopped reporting to his parole officer.
Asked about police resourcing given that Mr. Sanderson had been unlawfully at large since May, Mr. Mendicino said “it’s incredibly important that when someone is at large and there’s a warrant for their arrest, and they have an extensive criminal background, that all the resources are there to be able to apprehend that person as quickly as possible.
“We do need to take a very careful look as to what occurred.”
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