So after thanksgiving up here in Canada I decided to get back at it and as it turns out those two plastic side pieces had nothing to do with the locking mechanism at all. They are just plastic stoppers.
I figured I might as well finish this thread off in case someone else in this situation stumbles upon it, it might help them out.
So in the end I cut the middle piece from the picture that I circled above with a hand held hacksaw and put a magnet against the frame of the washing machine so that I didn't damage the face with the chaffing from the hand held saw.
Once I had the door open disassembly was obvious. Just had to unscrew all the visible screws on the inside of the door to get the broken handle out.
After all this it occurred to me that I could have probably fished some 12 gauge tie wire through and pulled the middle piece into the open position without have to cut it in half to open the door.
I didn't know how the locking mechanism worked though and didn't have an appropriate service manual to know any different and the replacement piece is under $10 anyway so no big deal. Just a heads up for the next guy.
I've included pictures and will repost here on where I got the replacement parts how much they cost and how the reassembly went.
Cheers, and happy thanksgiving to any fellow Canadians out there.