Alberta's Premier Alison Redford said Friday she supports Calgary's chief of police in the push to collect DNA samples at the time of arrest.
Ottawa is considering expanding its authority to take DNA when people are arrested. Earlier this week, Calgary's police Chief Rick Hansen said the change would help police know immediately if the person they've arrested is the one they want.
"I certainly support his view on this and hope that there is a way we can move forward to ensure that Charter rights are protected and continue to give the police more investigative powers," said Redford.
The Premier served as Alberta's justice minister from 2008 to 2011 and advised on constitutional reform issues in Africa during the 1990s.
While she says the push is forward-thinking, defence lawyers and civil libertarians are not happy with the idea of collecting DNA on arrest.
They argue the change infringes on people's rights and that everyone should be presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
"We're all entitled to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, and the right not to have our personal privacy invaded by the police without proper cause," said Ian Savage, president of the Calgary-based Criminal Defence Lawyers Association.
Currently, Canadian law does allow for DNA samples to be taken from certain convicted people in a limited capacity.