Alberta Justice Minister Kaycee Madu completed a marathon tour on Friday where he consulted Albertans, police and community groups on rural crime.
According to a press release, Madu attended over 60 events where he met with citizens and law enforcement officers in communities like Grande Prairie, Spruce Grove, La Crete and elsewhere.
“I want to thank the many Albertans who shared their concerns about rural crime. What you told us will help inform our ongoing work to ensure Albertans feel safe and protected in their homes, no matter where they live,” said Madu.
“We know the federal government must step up by enacting laws that put a stop to the revolving door justice system that allows repeat offenders to victimize law-abiding citizens over and over again, and we echo the call of Albertans for them to act quickly on this.”
Among the topics discussed were slow police response times in rural communities, victims’ services and a potential Alberta Provincial Police Service. Another separate consultation on economic issues important to rural Albertans is being conducted by Associate Minister of Rural Economic Development Nate Horner which is set to run through December.
Premier Jason Kenney has sought an inquiry into a potential provincial law enforcement body that would overtake the duties of the federal RCMP.
On Friday, a report on the potential provincial police service revealed that it could cost taxpayers $366 million to create and $735 million a year to maintain.
The report also noted that while expensive, a provincial police force could be more cost-effective and efficient than the federal model in the long run.
“During my rural crime tour this summer, rural Albertans made it clear that they are deeply concerned about crime in their communities,” said Madu about the report.
“PwC Canada has developed a policing model that could address long-standing concerns about response times in rural areas and put more boots on the ground. We’re eager to share these innovative and thought-provoking ideas with stakeholders and hear their thoughts over the coming months.”
Additionally, Kenney stated that the report made a “compelling case” to begin designing an Alberta police force.