Edmonton, AB: On Wednesday, Conservative Member of Parliament Shannon Stubbs was joined by Mike Ellis, United Conservative Solicitor General Critic and MLA for Calgary-West, Angela Pitt, United Conservative Justice Critic and MLA for Airdrie, and Jason Nixon, United Conservative House Leader and MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre in support of MP Stubbs’ upcoming federal Motion-167 to tackle rural crime.
Motion 167 calls on the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security to assess rural crime rates and trends, examine RCMP policing, and staff resources along with provincial and municipal partnerships in rural and remote communities across Canada, and to provide recommendations.
“Fighting rural crime requires attention and action both provincially and federally. Rural crime is the number one issue Lakeland residents raise with me. One constituent has even told me that her family has experienced seven break-ins in a two-week period despite having a security system”, said Stubbs. “Residents and businesses who haven’t been victims of rural crime yet say they believe it’s a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ it will happen. My motion is a crucial first step that will prioritize this urgent challenge federally and lead to action.”
“It’s clear that the crime epidemic across rural Canada has reached crisis levels. RCMP detachments and police services across the country are under resourced and response times in some areas are at an all-time high,” said Ellis. “It’s critical that we seek to understand exactly what actions need to be taken to effect real change and motion M-167 will achieve exactly that. I applaud MP Stubbs and her commitment to restoring peace, security, and public trust to our rural communities.”
Stubbs first raised the issue of rural crime in the House of Commons on January 28, 2016 and again Commons in a member’s statement on September 29, 2017. In Lakeland, Stubbs cohosted a townhall in Marwayne on November 14, 2017, while other Conservative MPs participated in similar forums across Alberta in the fall.
On December 15, 2017, Stubbs wrote to Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley and federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to share constituent’s feedback and urge federal and provincial collaboration to combat rural crime.
“The desperation in rural communities across the country that has come as a result of escalating crime rates is palpable. Rural Albertans do not feel safe in their own homes, and it is incumbent on us as elected representatives to do whatever it takes to find solutions,” said Pitt. “MP Shannon Stubbs’ motion M-167 is an excellent start and I urge all Members of the House of Commons to pass it without delay.”
“Communities across Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre are among some of the hardest hit by the increase in crime that’s plaguing rural Alberta,” Nixon said. “I wholeheartedly support Lakeland Member of Parliament Shannon Stubbs’ motion M-167 and any efforts undertaken to understand and address the root causes of this very serious issue.”
In 2015, Canada’s crime index rose for the first time in 12 years, with the highest increase in Alberta and Western Canada. The region experienced a 10 per cent growth in rural crime. Alberta faced an 80 per cent increase in property crime across the province and an increase of up to 105 per cent in theft of $5000 or under, and an increase of 58 per cent in motor vehicle theft in some areas.
Motion-167 is expected to be voted on during the spring sitting. It requires majority support in the House of Commons and calls on the committee to undertake the comprehensive assessment immediately, and to report findings within 6 months. Support for this motion is growing across Lakeland, Alberta and across the country.