Gateway Gazette

MP John Barlow responds to Committee report on Rural Crime

OTTAWA – Last week, the Liberal-dominated public safety committee released a three-page report into rural crime in Canada. The minimal findings included in the report ignore witness testimonies and deflects responsibility to address the incidents of rural crime to the Provinces. 

The Liberal report fails to address key issues which arose from witnesses including the lack of RCMP and police resources that lead to response delays in rural communities, it fails to clarify the vagueness of rules in the Criminal Code pertaining to property rights, self-defence and the “revolving door” in the justice system. Nor does this report provide recommendations to address financial struggles, mental health and lack of services faced by victims. 

Witnesses travelled from across Canada to Ottawa, sacrificing time from their family and jobs to provide their personal testimony and emotional accounts of their experiences of rural crime. Foothills residents Eddie and Jessica Maurice were two of those witnesses as victims of a rural crime on their property in Okotoks, sharing their experiences and struggles which lasted for months following the incident.

The Liberals lack of response absolutely disrespects the personal struggles and anxiety faced by families in rural communities who no longer feel safe in their own homes. 

Rural crime in communities across Canada, especially here in Alberta, has been steadily increasing and law enforcement has been unable to mount an adequate response with the limited resources at their disposal. There is a duty and obligation for the Federal government to act on issues of rural crime and step up to protecting our residents. 

Conservative MPs in Alberta formed a task force and submitted a fulsome report on rural crime to the committee with input from thousands of Albertans which the Liberals completely ignored. 

Liberals have once again exposed their callous attitude toward rural Canadians and their neglect to address the epidemic of rural crime.  It is only when we put Canadians ahead of political allegiances we can address the need of the many victims of crime in rural communities. 

Canada’s Conservatives will continue to stand up for rural communities and under leader Andrew Scheer we will fight for concrete actions to keep Canadians safe as we announced earlier this year in our Safe Communities policy. 

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