After nearly 30 hours of BC Review Board hearings over six weeks and four additional weeks of waiting, we have a decision. This is the decision my family and I had been dreading: Allan Schoenborn, the man who murdered my three children – Kaitlynne, Max and Cordon – will be re-entering our community even though the Review Board found him to be a high risk to public safety.
While the escorted leaves are at the discretion of Dr. Johann Brink at Colony Farm Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, this is of no comfort to me. This is the same man who wanted to give Allan full release in 2011 after just one year in custody. This is the doctor who has said victims do not have the right to know what is happening with an NCR (not criminally responsible) accused. Dr. Brink and his team have spent only 25 hours evaluating and treating Allan over the last two years. This is less time than my family and friends have spent in review hearings over the same time.
It is a travesty that the Review Board would not use the tools afforded to them under Bill C14. These tools give more treatment considerations to the NCR accused, more time for victims to heal and greater transparency and protections for all Canadians. Members of the BC Review Board and staff (including Dr. Brink) lobbied against the Bill. Now that the Bill is law, they are using their quasi-judicial powers to ignore the provisions of this legislation which corrected the imbalance in the NCR system.
So what’s next? For Allan, he could be in our community at any time without the public’s knowledge because the Review Board does not have the public’s safety as their paramount concern. I live in the Tri-Cities and I will now live in consistent fear that he will move ahead with his threats against me, because as he has said, I am “unfinished business”. Should he escape custody, there are no requirements for Colony Farm to warn the community nor get law enforcement involved in his capture. Instead, they only need to gain assistance of occupational health workers and notify Dr. Brink at Colony Farm.
As for my family, we are working with Crown Council to present an application to the Supreme Court to have triple child killer Allan Schoenborn deemed a high risk offender. This is uncharted territory as we will be the first to use section 672.64 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Our hope is that the Supreme Court will look at the facts without the Review Board bias and find Allan a high-risk. Once this happens, his escorted leaves will be revoked and he could be held in custody for treatment for up to 36 months. This means my family and I do not have to go through another annual review for some time. This will give me time to rest, feel safe and hopefully one day heal.
I am also calling upon Premier Christy Clark and B.C.’s Minister of Justice, Suzanne Anton, to review the BC Review Board and the operations at Colony Farm Forensic Psychiatric Hospital. The dysfunctional nature of the Board and Forensic Hospital Administration is shameful. These two entities have cultivated a culture which condones conflict of interest while ignoring public safety. This is a system screaming out for reform. Premier Clark and Justice Ministers over the last four years have been very supportive of my family and Bill C14. Now they need to fix these two broken factions of our mental health system which neither provides proper care for the mentally ill; nor gives support to victims; nor puts public safety first.
While I am disappointed with this outcome I cannot thank Crown Council Wendy Dawson enough for her thoughtfulness, professionalism empathy and tenacity. She is a true advocate for victims and public safety, and Ms. Dawson would be my choice as the one who should head up a review of Colony Farm and the BC Review Board.
For everyone who has supported me over the last seven years, thank-you. And thank-you for your continued support as we move forward to protect the rights of victims all across Canada.
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