by Morinville News Staff
The Opposition Wildrose launched a new initiative Wednesday. The Alberta Crime Task Force will see the party consult directly with Albertans about the state of the province’s justice system.
The party says the Crime Task Force will “listen to Albertans directly about the impact of rising crime in Alberta and the effect of NDP government policies, and seek feedback on solutions to make communities safer.”
The Wildrose cite several stats as part of the motivation for their task-force. Among them, an 18 per cent increase in crime, the largest of any province or territory, according to the most recent Crime Severity Index. Additional factors include a 66 per cent increase in firearm thefts in Alberta over the past three years, and Grande Prairie being recently rated the most dangerous city in Canada by Statistics Canada, with both Red Deer and Edmonton well above the national average
Wildrose Shadow Justice Minister Angela Pitt will chair the task force, and Wildrose MLA Don MacIntyre will serve as co-chair.
Wildrose MLAs will tour Alberta over the coming months to produce a report with recommendations to the government.
“Albertans know the justice system, as it stands, is failing our province, with accused criminals walking free because of a lack of resources while crime is on the rise,” Pitt said in a news release Wednesday. “This task force was created to develop sound ideas to improve our system and work collaboratively with concerned families, local governments, and law enforcement stakeholders to keep our streets safe.”
A feedback survey has been posted online at www.crimetaskforce.ca.
Information provided online and in person will be factored into the Crime Task Force report.
In addition to seeking input on the state of the justice system, MLAs will also seek feedback on previously advocated Wildrose policies, including increasing monitoring of violent offenders and stricter enforcement of conditions of release, tasking a panel of legal experts to expedite prosecutions against gang members and criminal organizations, and pushing for tougher sentencing on trafficking and production on dangerous opioids like fentanyl.
Co-chair MacIntyre said citizens in Alberta’s cities and rural communities are concerned about the rise in crime.
“[T]hey want the NDP government to do something about it,” he said. “Our task force will work tirelessly to identify the key problems and gather recommendations that make our system more accountable to Albertans.”