Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks has praised the residents of the Elk Valley for their ongoing efforts in the search for missing three-year-old Kienan Hebert.
“It’s certainly a sad event that’s happened in Sparwood,” he said. “The community, as expected, has bonded together to hopefully find a good outcome to this.”
Wilks is the former Mayor of Sparwood.
He said he hopes to be back for the weekend. In the meantime, he said he assisted searchers by helping get two search aircraft from Esquimalt sent to aid in the search. “I’ve done what I can do here from Ottawa, but I can tell you that the people of the Elk Valley are very resilient and they will support the family and we will hopefully have a good outcome on this.”
Wilks resigned as Mayor of Sparwood earlier this year after he was elected as a Member of Parliament. Wilks served as an RCMP officer for 20 years, five of them in the Elk Valley. He retired in 2000. From his time as an RCMP officer there, Wilks said he was “quite familiar” with Mr. Hopley. Randall Hopley, 46, is wanted by police in connection with Hebert’s disappearance.
Wilks said he was working towards a private members bill “that will hopefully rectify some situations in the future with regard to serious crimes.”
The Criminal Code could come under review should specific incidents arise that point towards the need “for more serious punishment.”
“I believe that people have learned over the years that my heart is to ensure that we do everything that we can for the victims of crime,” Wilks said. “We shouldn’t be so concerned with those that are committing the crimes and be more concerned with those that are victims of crime. When we take it to that point, we as a society will work much better together.”
Randall Hopley has an extensive criminal record that dates back to the 1980s, including a sexual assault conviction. Court records show convictions for assault, break and enter and theft. Most of the incidents happened in Sparwood, Cranbrook and Fernie. In June of this year he was convicted of an April assault. He was sentenced to two months of jail and two months of probation.
In November of 2007 he was charged with break-and-enter, attempted abduction and unlawful confinement. He pleaded guilty to the break and enter but the other charges were stayed.