November 27, 2017

NDP shuts down emergency debate on skyrocketing rural crime rates

The NDP government today signaled its total abandonment of rural Alberta when it shut down a United Conservative request for an emergency debate on the alarming rise in crime rates throughout rural communities across the province.

“The purpose of an emergency debate is for the Legislative Assembly to address a matter of urgent importance for the people of Alberta,” said UCP Official Opposition Leader Jason Nixon. “If the skyrocketing crime rates across rural Alberta do not constitute a matter of urgent importance, then I don’t know what does. Today, with the Legislature gallery packed with victims of crime from across the province, the NDP had an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to keeping Albertans safe. Instead, this government chose to turn its back on the people they have a duty to protect.”

Since 2011, crime rates in some rural Alberta communities have jumped by more than 250 per cent. This year alone, break-ins are up 94 per cent in Innisfail and 133 per cent in Bonnyville when compared with 2016. Recently, Maclean’s magazine revealed that 12 of the top 50 most dangerous places in Canada are located in Alberta.

Earlier this month, UCP Leader Jason Kenney announced the Task Force on Rural Crime, which will work to develop common-sense solutions to tackle escalating crime rates, and meaningfully engage with victims of crime across rural Alberta.

“Members of both UCP legacy parties have been sounding the alarm for more than two years in an effort to get the NDP to take action on this matter of critical importance,” said UCP Justice Critic Angela Pitt. “Albertans have a right to feel safe in their own homes, and they deserve a government that is willing to do everything in its power to protect them and their property. By refusing to take this problem seriously, despite the growing mountain of evidence, the NDP has failed each and every one of these communities. If the NDP won’t step up and do everything it can to protect these communities, Albertans can rest assured that the UCP will.”