WARNING: This article contains details that are disturbing.
The family of a murdered mother and toddler is headed for Ottawa to take the next step in their push for change to Canada’s justice system.
“Noah’s Law” was conceptualized by Cody McConnell and his family after his fiancée, Mchale Busch, and 16-month-old Noah McConnell were murdered inside their Hinton apartment building.
On Monday, McConnell and five family members will be in the House of Commons as Conservative MP Gerald Soroka introduces a private member’s bill.
On Tuesday, Quebec senator Pierre Boisvenu will introduce the bill in the Senate. In April, he traveled to meet the family at their home in Camrose.
On Sept. 16, Hinton RCMP respondents to the report of a missing 24-year-old woman and her toddler.
The bodies of Busch and Noah were found less than 24 hours later. On Sept. 17, RCMP arrested their neighbor, Major Robert Keith.
The family had been living in the apartment complex for just 10 days.
Court heard Major sexually assaulted Busch, strangled him to death and then violated his body. It’s not known how Busch ended up in Major’s apartment.
The Crown said Major then suffocated Noah and put his body in a nearby dumpster.
In November of 2022, Major was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for the first-degree murders.
McConnell said the justice system failed them, by not letting them know a convicted sex offender — who Alberta Justice says has a criminal record dating back to the early 1990s and has been convicted of sex crimes — lived in their apartment building.
McConnell said if he had known Major’s history, he would never have moved in with his family.
That spurred the creation of “Noah’s Law,” which has grown from a grassroots petition into an official e-petition to the Government of Canada.
“It was very hard to find closure in a situation like this. This is one thing I can do for them. I can’t protect them. But I can help protect the other innocent people this may happen to. It’s in their memory,” McConnell explained.
The e-petition reads, in part: the proposed bill would “require mandatory reporting by convicted sexual offenders to the nearest police station upon any change of residence;” and “clarify that failure to report as required is an offense for which an arrest warrant shall be issued.”
McConnell said the work has given him a reason to live.
“When you’re a man, you have this stigma. You have to be strong, protect your loved ones. For a long time I did feel like I had failed [Mchale and Noah],” McConnell said. “It’s giving me a reason to live again. It’s giving me a second chance at life.”
Robert Major’s past
In 2013, Major was sentenced to four years in prison for aggravated sexual assault and banned from owning firearms for life.
Court documents show that Major “…did for a sexual purpose touch [victim’s name] a person under the age of sixteen years directly with a part of his body…”
Four years ago, the Edmonton Police Service warned residents that Major, a convicted sexual offender, would be living in the Edmonton area.
Upon release in 2017, Edmonton police issued a warning about Major, saying he was being closely monitored by the EPS behavioral assessment unit and investigators had reasonable grounds to believe that Major would “commit another sexual offense against a female, including children, while in the community.”
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Court documents obtained by Global News show Major was subject to a number of court-ordered conditions, including a curfew and not being allowed to leave Edmonton without written consent.
Alberta Justice does maintain an online list of high-risk offenders.
However, the website says an offender’s information will be removed when they have not been convicted of an offense for 12 months, and are no longer under court-ordered supervision.
“When you have something egregious happen to [your family]you realize: ‘Holy cow, there are holes in our justice system,’ family friend Verna Sand said.
Sand said the bill aims to balance public safety with privacy and rehabilitation.
Organizations that work with sex offenders who have been released from prison and are at high risk to re-offend have said it is important for legislation to strike a balance between the public and the convicted offender’s rights when it comes to Noah’s Law.
McConnell said his work with Noah’s Law has given him some closure after an immense loss.
“That’s why I’m here. That’s my purpose here, to protect people. I will do everything I can for the people I love.”
The family leaves for Ottawa on Sunday.
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