Last Sunday I helped out a friend who’s fundraising for the upcoming Cops For Cancer Tour de Rock ride.
There we were, last Sunday in Sidney, during the town’s show ‘n’ shine on the main drag, when I was surprised by another volunteer hawking tickets with us under the shade of the RCMP tent.
She wore no emerald-coloured hemp T-shirt, didn’t hand out party pamphlets or buttons, and there wasn’t a CSIS security detail in sight, yet here was a federal party leader: Elizabeth May, the first member of Canada’s Green Party to be elected to Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
She’s also a Sidney resident and was just out doing her part to support a great cause and to be seen. Nice lady, smart, funny too.
We chatted during lulls in the sales, but rather than environmental issues, the former lawyer chose to talk about a law and order issue that starts with a 20-year-old missing persons case.
On the August long weekend in 1993, 14-year-old Lindsey Nicholls went for a walk along a road in Cumberland and was never seen again.
Her mother, Judy Peterson of Sidney, continues to look for answers as an online public petition asking Parliament to adopt what is affectionately called “Lindsey’s Law.”
In short, Lindsey’s Law, would allow investigators to compare DNA evidence of missing persons with the DNA collected from crime scenes and unidentified human remains.
The hope is this law would result in finding solutions to old mysteries and crimes, and perhaps even convict a murderer. Seems a like a sensible thing to do and even practical with today’s technology, but it’s still not on the government’s agenda.
According to May, former Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the proposed legislation would be too expensive.
Really, how expensive can it be?
It’s not like it will take a billion dollars, like the gun registry, to create something new. We have the DNA of missing people and we have DNA from umpteen crime sites and thousands of criminals.
If the government needs cash to fund the program, it should take a look at how it currently collects DNA from convicted criminals.
As the saying goes, five per cent of the people commit 95 per cent of the crime, so these folks come and go from the courts as if stuck in a revolving door.
And as each case goes, prosecutors ask over and over again for DNA samples.
In short, one thief with a long record could very well provide a dozen DNA samples to the national police registry.
Just a “little” redundant and who knows what happens with all this repeat data? It sounds like a lot of wasted money – tax dollars that could be better spent on another investigative tool that would help solve cold cases.
And it’s a law that could help provide closure and comfort to the families of the more than 7,000 missing Canadians. Some of whom, I imagine, are voters.
Learn more online at www.lindseyslaw.com