Kamloops MP tells city council he will keep pushing for bail reform

MP pushing for bail changes

The MP for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo has told Kamloops city council he won’t take his "foot off the gas pedal" when it comes to pushing for bail reform.

Frank Caputo, who recently tabled a private-member’s bill intended to toughen bail laws for those facing gun charges, attended a council meeting on Tuesday.

Coun. Bill Sarai asked Caputo when communities can expect tangible changes if the federal government decides to move forward with bail reform, with stricter rules for prolific offenders.

Caputo said he’s seen parliament react “at different rates,” but it could take months for any changes to go through government processes.

The MP said he would hope to see legislation in April or May, but noted this matter will be highly debated.

“If there's uniform agreement and all the parties say yes, this is the right thing, then it can pass fairly quickly. But then it has to get studied at committee and this will probably take three or four meetings to be studied,” Caputo said.

“I don't see this legislation receiving royal assent, especially going through the Senate, for before the fall. But stranger things have happened.”

Caputo said the issue has been “heating up” in parliament.

“It's come to a bit of a crescendo,” he told council.

“You judge how much of something is an issue based on how many questions are being asked in question period. It's very rare that you see 13 premiers from 10 provinces and three territories united in one single issue.”

Caputo said he sits on a justice and human rights committee which has been studying the matter, noting the committee had former Kamloops RCMP Supt. Syd Lecky appear to discuss his experiences with bail, along with two other Indigenous police chiefs.

He told council he plans to keep pressing for changes in parliament.

“My position is enough talk, let’s get this done. I've seen legislation happen overnight,” Caputo said.

“I appreciate your kind words, and you have my word that I will not take my foot off the gas pedal on this one.”

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