Blaine Calkins
Member of Parliament for Red Deer - Lacombe

05-28-19 (May)

Rural Crime Report Update

In response to the overwhelming increase in rural crime and complete lack of concern by the Liberal government,  Conservative Members of Parliament that represent the rural areas of Alberta joined together to create the Alberta MP Rural Crime Task Force.

In late 2017 the Task Force began meeting with rural Albertans to discuss their experiences, concerns and ideas that they had to combat rural crime.  The task force MPs held town hall meetings, roundtables, met one-on-one and sent out surveys and mail outs; all designed to hear from those most affected by rural crime. 

The Task Force met with thousands of Albertans, members of the RCMP, victim services groups, rural crime watch associations and many, many, many victims of crime.  We heard stories, we heard frustrations and we heard solutions.

In early 2018, my colleague Shannon Stubbs the Member of Parliament for Lakeland introduced her Private Member's Motion M-167 which compelled the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security to study rural crime in Canada and that the Committee report its findings to the House of Commons within six months.  This motion passed unanimously. 

To assist the Committee with their work the Alberta MP Rural Crime Task Force submitted their 29-page report "Toward a Safer Alberta", which was a summary of what the Task Force heard from Albertans.    This report was submitted on November 9, 2018, and the last witness appeared before Committee on October 30, 2018.  Seven months later, rural Canadians have heard nothing from the Committee - until now. 

The Liberal-dominated Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security recently released their two page "report" on rural crime.   After more than a year, 8 meetings, 4 briefs and 19 witnesses, the Committee determined that all of their findings could be reduced to two pages and didn't take any of the Task Force recommendations seriously. 

Essentially, the Committee downloaded all responsibility to the provinces instead of accepting ownership of the judicial system, RCMP training and staffing provisions, updating self defence laws and tacking organized crime - an insult and incredible disservice to victims of crime and crime prevention organizations. 

The report further undermines community based efforts to address crime - frankly, it's a kick in the groin and a huge insult to every rural Canadian that has been impacted by crime. 

Both the Alberta MP Rural Crime Task Force Report and the Public Safety Committee Report can be found online at www.ourcommons.ca.  For those requiring a printed copy please contact my office at 587-621-0020
 
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Blaine Calkins - Member of Parliament for Red Deer - Lacombe