Alberta introduces bill to create own parole board like Quebec, Ontario

Alberta introduces bill to create own parole board like Quebec, Ontario

EDMONTON — Alberta has introduced a bill to create its own parole board.

Premier Jason Kenney says it’s time the province takes more control with a board staffed by members who better recognize community concerns, particularly in rural areas facing rising crime rates.

“Personnel is policy,” Kenney said Monday prior to introducing the bill.

“The personnel we will be choosing to make up the Alberta Parole Board will be people who are coming from communities that have been facing this crime wave over recent years.

“They’re going to be a lot more sensitive to the public safety imperative than we believe the federal parole board has been.”

Kenney said members would also know better the crime trends in their regions and the supports available to parolees. He said there are too many reports of inmates being released on parole and reoffending.

“Too often that’s because of a revolving door justice system where criminals are arrested, convicted and are back out on the streets revictimizing more Albertans and causing frustration for our police and law-abiding citizens.”

The federal government controls the parole system and would continue to make parole decisions for inmates serving sentences longer than two years.

For those serving terms under two years, the new Alberta board would make decisions on eligibility and conditions upon release.

If the bill passes, the system would begin operating at the start of next year at a cost of $600,000 a year, Kenney said. Some of that money would come from the federal government, he said.

Quebec and Ontario already operate their own provincial parole programs.

Alberta has undertaken a number of initiatives, including hiring more prosecutors, to address rural crimes, which have jumped in recent years.

In a 2017 report, Statistics Canada said rural crime rates on the Prairies were at least one-third higher than in urban areas.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

crime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake beachgoers spark safety concerns

‘You’re putting your life at risk,’ tweets Rachel Notley

Conservatives call for Trudeau to testify at committee on WE Charity deal

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion is already investigating whether Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Quebec police continue search for father, one day after missing girls found dead

Bodies were found in a wooded area of Quebec City suburb

Red Deer up to 4 active COVID-19 cases

Province announced 77 new confirmed cases across Alberta Friday

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Canmore RCMP respond to multiple hiking injury calls this weekend

EMS and RCMP responded to three separate and unrelated hiking accidents in Kananaskis Country.

How Conservative leadership hopefuls would address the WE scandal if they win

The ethics commissioner has been called in to see if Trudeau broke conflict-of-interest law

With debt, deficit numbers out, experts say Liberals need plan for growth

Borrowing will push the federal debt past $1 trillion by the end of the fiscal year

Pedestrian-only downtown a hit with residents as St. John’s adapts to pandemic

‘The city really got this right this time. We’re very happy’

Bosnian-Canadians mark 25th anniversary of Srebrenica massacre

‘It’s sad for a child to think that it’s normal, actually, to … have family members killed’

PODCAST: COVID-19 and the US Election

The Expert welcomes Burman University Political Scientist Marc Froese

Sylvan Lake RCMP continue search for missing man

43-year-old Steven Hull’s last known whereabouts were in the Sylvan Lake area on May 28

Most Read