By Justin Seward
Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MP Glen Motz joined fellow Alberta CPC colleagues Shannon Stubbs, Earl Dreeshen, Arnold Viersen and Cor De Wit, president for the Alberta Provincial Crime Watch Association and Murray Philips, councillor from the County of Two Hills, in Edmonton to talk about the recent Liberal government failures to combat rural crime in Canada on May 23.
On May 16- almost six months late- the Liberal government’s Public Safety Committee tabled its report with zero recommendation for action.
It was Stubbs who put forward Motion 167 to study issue of rural crime in Canada and its effects on rural communities and families in May 2018.
The evidence presented during committee’s study showed critical gaps that are clearly within the mandate and the scope of the federal government.
The Liberal falters included a lack of police resource in the RCMP detachments leading to response times delayed by hours-sometimes days, ambiguity in the Criminal Code surrounding property rights and self-defense, repeat offenders and crime groups preying on rural Canadian-some out on bail, significant financial hardships, mental and physical health challenges and lack of service for victims.
“Sitting through committee hearings, it was very difficult for those members of us on the committee to hear tales of hard working Canadians being victimized over and over again, (and) communities working to make their homes look less attractive to criminals,” said Motz through Facebook Live at the press conference.
“(And)families being scared to work in their fields because something might happen to their families or home. Conservative MPs in Alberta felt that we couldn’t just sit by and continue to let this problem escalate and watch and do nothing.”
Motz added that is why a Alberta Rural Crime Task Force was created with Alberta CPC MPs when Stubbs was putting that motion together.
“What we heard from right across this province and the dozens of town halls we had, communities in our province were scared and suffering,” he said.
“It is a core Canadian value to help those in need and protect innocent people, especially protect people from criminals. When MP Stubbs brought forward Motion 167, she said the ‘unanimous support in the house was fantastic,’ and I was optimistic of where this was going to go.”
“But it was a huge understatement to say that my Conservative colleagues and I were extremely disappointed and angry with the Liberal MP on Public Safety and National Security Committee and then their two page report to financial heart break and harm that Canadians are suffering at hands of criminals.”
De Wit said “This has become very clear that there is more interest in our organization in the last number of years than the time we’d had been in existence.
“…The public was told that they’re not feeling safe in small rural communities. Response times are slow and unacceptable. In most cases several hours may lapse between a call and the officer arriving. The RCMP in Alberta have made some headway in lowering some property crime statistics with the crime reduction units. But there is still so much to do to reduce to the pre-2014 levels.”