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Slain Hinton mother, child have Bashaw connection

MLA Jackie Lovely advocates for change in sexual offence laws, supports petition

Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely is advocating for change when it comes to sexual offence laws in Canada and fully supports a private member’s law being drafted by her federal counterpart, MP Gerald Soroka.

Known as “Noah’s Law,” the private member’s bill is named after Noah McConnell, who was found deceased in a Hinton, Alta., apartment along with his mother, Mchale Busch, on Sept. 17, 2021, a day after they were reported missing.

According to RCMP reports, the pair were found in the apartment of Robert Keith Major, a 53-year-old convicted sexual offender who lived in the same building as Busch and McConnell. Major has since been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of indignity to human remains related with the deaths.

Edmonton Police Service previously released, in 2017, that they had reasonable grounds to believe that Major would offend again, however he had not been subject to any conditions since July of 2020.

“The true tragedy of this crime is it was preventable,” said Lovely in a statement in the Legislature in October.

“A petition is circulating calling on the government to take appropriate action. The plea asks that residents be informed when a high risk offender is living within close proximity to residents.”

Lovely’s statement in support of the petition calling for change had just short of 30,000 views on Facebook as of Nov. 18.

Unfortunately, the initial petition presented had some issues as it was initially drafted, and has since been recalled.

“The petition we created was not House of Commons worthy,” said family spokesperson, Verna Sand.

“If a petition is going to be presented to the House of Commons, it must be very specifically worded and constructed.”

The petition is undergoing revision under the supervision of lawyers to ensure that the requests in the petition are appropriate and that it will be acceptable for the House of Commons.

There will be paper and digital versions of the petition once completed, and due to differences between the two, people will be able to sign both.

According to Sand, a committee is working on a database of everyone who signed the first petition, but the challenge with redoing the petition will be getting people to sign it again.

To assist in getting the message out as to the reasons for why the petition is being re-done, the committee is working with a communications specialist.

Once completed, the new petition will be available for download on the website Justice for Mchale and Noah.

Due to the private members bill still being in the very early stages of being drafted, MP Soroka declined comment at this time.

Originally from Camrose, the family does have a Basahw connection, as Cody McConnell, McHale’s husband, Mchale and Noah lived in their camper south of the Bashaw Golf and Country Club during the summer of 2021.

They moved to Hinton at the end of summer 2021 so Cody could go to work on the pipeline.

-With files from the Canadian Press

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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