Leading up to the Alberta provincial election, AIR 106.1 FM and Discover Airdrie have asked candidates in the ridings of Airdrie-East and Airdrie-Cochrane, a series of questions about topics impacting our ridings.
Each weekday leading up to April 16th we will be posting their written responses to our AIR 106.1 Candidate Question of the Day.
The order in which the candidates responses appear has been chosen at random and will rotate each day. The first answers are for Airdrie-East candidates, the second batch are the Airdrie-Cochrane candidates.
A link will be provided with each response taking you back to the party’s website for more information on their platforms and policies.
The AIR 106.1 Candidate Question of the Day for Friday, April 12th, 2019 is as follows:
Rural crime continues to be an issue many residents in our ridings are concerned about. What actions do you believe need to be taken to deal with it?
Jeff Olson – Alberta Independence Party
“First thing we need to do is start from the grassroots of the problem and get Albertans back to work. Albertans are proud, hardworking people and if we are working and able to support and feed our families there is less crime. We would also raise the pre-tax income for Albertans to $45,000 enabling people in Alberta to afford what they see fit for their families.”
Roxie Baez Zamora – NDP
“This is a very important issue that requires a dedicated focus, and Rachel Notley has done that by investing in the creation of a Crime Reduction Unit right here in Airdrie, through our Rural Crime plan. It has already help reduce crime across the province, and we will continue to support and invest in the RCMP as well as programs to support victims.”
Richard Herdman – Independent
“MLA must be a skilled negotiator ED Airdrie East is a first time deal in 100 years. Stakeholders can be involved in ongoing webinars so solutions can be found with residents to crime. This file is controlled by the Solicitor General.”
Alex Luterbach – Alberta Party
“Alberta Party MLAs voted twice in favour of increased funding to support rural crime prevention. In this region we are especially hard hit being as we are right next to Calgary, as property crimes are typically committed by repeat offenders coming from nearby communities. Funding for additional officers to cover the area would help, as well as the support of initiatives such as Rural Crime Watch. Crime rates are closely tied to both the economy and social support systems, so addressing the root cause of this issue would have to look at getting Albertans back to work, mental health and addiction support as well as education.”
Angela Pitt – United Conservative Party
“Albertans deserve a better justice system that protects them, their loved ones, and their property. A United Conservative government will spend $10 million to hire 50 new prosecutors and support staff. Enact the publics right to know act which requires annual reporting on wide number of measurements such as the number of crimes committed by a person on bail. We will implement the United Conservative rural crime strategy authored in 2018. Invest %5 million to increase access to drug treatment courts as a way to help drug addicts leave the cycle of crime. Conduct an immediate review of victim service delivery, funding and victim compensation. Better support ADVAS here so they are not relying on fundraising just to support our victims. Conduct an immediate review of evidence gathering services especially in rural communities to determine what improvements are required. Particularly around sexual assaults.”
Rick Northey – Freedom Conservative Party
“People turn to crime when they see no other alternatives to provide for themselves. A positive environment for business to create jobs will go a long way to removing the cause of rural crime. The FCP also supports the reasonable right of self defence for rural landowners.”
Danielle Cameron – Alberta Independence Party
“We will implement an Alberta Police National police force, saving 2.2 times the current costs.
Rural Security and the Transition to the Alberta Federation of Police. The Alberta Independence Party recognizes the current issues facing rural ridings with respect to individual’s security and privacy, the need to protect our rural constituents and the need to create our own independent Alberta police force. We will do all this without reducing a single service. The Alberta Federation of Police will work with the Finance Minister and Justice Minister to implement a complete take-over of ALL federal, provincial and municipal police forces.”
Steve Durrell – NDP
“Rachel committed funding to fight rural crime and the results are showing. The RCMP indicate that rural property crime is down, but we need to keep supporting the RCMP so they can continue this work. It shocks me that the UCP, led by Jason Kenney voted against the measures we now have in place. They voted against it, and yet, it's clear now that our plan works.”
Vern Raincock – Alberta Party
“This is a complex issue. We need to address the Provincial Police Service Agreement (PPSA) for all municipalities and counties. At this time municipalities with fewer than 5000 residents are fully funded by the provincial government (70%) and by the Federal Government (30%). Communities like Cochrane and Airdrie pay 90% of policing costs and receive 10% funding from the federal government. The provincial grant to both cities is based on a sliding scale. Cochrane receives a $100,000 base payment plus $14.00 per capita. Airdrie receives $16.00 per capita. The Airdrie Cochrane Riding is diverse and the majority of the riding is rural and served by the RCMP. Alberta RCMP has developed an action plan that will enable the Force to address rural crime by adding new officer positions and civilian employees in areas that will ultimately lead to more RCMP officers on the road. I am aware that AUMA has established the Alberta Police Act Working Group. I look forward to discuss AUMA's preferred funding model and its recommendations for amendments to improve policing services and community safety. We also need to ensure that the provincial courts in Cochrane and Airdrie have adequate resources. I was surprised to hear that provincial courts in Cochrane & Airdrie operate on a 2 day per week judicial schedule. This schedule is leading to unreasonable judicial delays. These bottlenecks affect the community and need to be addressed.”
Peter Guthrie – United Conservative Party
“The first duty of government is to protect public safety. Crime is up substantially in Alberta over the past four years for many reasons but primarily because our economy has been so terrible. When you have a poor economy you have more desperation, more depression, and more crime. To deal with this issue the first thing, as mentioned previously, is to get our economy turned around and get people back to work. But beyond that a UCP government will spend $10 million to hire 50 new prosecutors and staff. We will also implement the United Conservative Rural Crime Strategy. The strategy makes a number of recommendations to improve rural crime fighting. This includes implementing specific policies but also REVIEWING those policies in real time and adjust quickly and efficiently to ensure they are the best policies for rural Alberta. It includes creating a provincially regulated police response system that would link all enforcement agencies to expedite assistance for rural citizens and facilitate inter-jurisdictional cooperation. These are just a few of the recommendations within the Report. The key is it would start immediately when the UCP form government.”
Matthew Morrisey – Freedom Conservative Party
“The FCP will enshrine the fundamental right to defend self, property, and family in a new charter. We will also consult with the RCMP on ways to lessen response times in rural communities.”
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