by Morinville News Staff
The NDP are calling UCP Bill 16 a “cruel raid” of the victims of crime fund, and something that must be stopped at all costs.
Bill 16 would allow the UCP to expand Victims of Crime Fund usage to help pay for policing initiatives. Previously, funds were reserved for Albertans who were victims of crime.
“This is a cruel raid of a victims’ fund because this UCP Government hasn’t found a way to pay for the added police they promised in the last provincial election,” said NDP Justice Critic Kathleen Ganley. “Rather than admit that their policing plan was a fairytale, the Premier and the Minister of Justice are going to take from those who have already lost so much.
Ganley went on to ask how the UCP Government can look victims of crime in the eyes and try to justify what they’re doing.
Bill 16 is currently in second reading in the Legislature and Ganley says the NDP MLAs will use every tool available to them to try to defeat Bill 16 or force the Government to consult further.
Ganley will call for an amendment that she says would protect and expand victims’ access to benefits and supports beyond the scope of Bill 16. The proposed legislation removes and limits benefits for injuries and death, and limits access to supports with timelines that will act as barriers – particularly in relation to the most vulnerable Albertans.
The NDP are supported by Alf Rudd, President of the Alberta Police-Based Victim Services Association in criticizing the Bill.
“These are not tax dollars. Those funds were intended to support victim-serving organizations in providing services directly to those who have suffered as victims of crime and or tragedy,” Rudd said. “The money supports a cohort of volunteers in every corner of Alberta to be there in times of crisis to support and assist when tragedy strikes.”