UCP Leader Jason Kenney pledges $30M to get tough on crime

A United Conservative Party (UCP) government would address the "crime wave in Alberta, " Leader Jason Kenney said Wednesday.

UCP would fund new Crown prosecutors and provide more money for policing

UCP Leader Jason Kenney laid out an extensive plan to combat what he calls a "crime wave" sweeping Alberta. (Manuel Carrillos/CBC)

United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney pledged Wednesday to crack down on rural and urban crime with a "serious package" that offers solutions to tackle rising crime rates and an overburdened court system.

Kenney's plan includes $10 million for 50 new Crown prosecutors and support staff, and $20 million over four years for the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT).

ALERT was set up by the Alberta government in 2006 to tackle organized and serious crime. It brings together municipal police and RCMP to investigate crimes from drug trafficking to gang violence. 

A UCP government would address the "crime wave in Alberta," Kenney told a news conference in Lac Ste. Anne County, adding that the current NDP government has been "soft" on crime.

He ran down a long list of statistics, including that auto theft in the province is three times the national average, with 62 vehicles stolen each day.

Kenney said it's wrong for Alberta courts to take on only the most serious cases.

"Triage is something we should do in a disaster," not in the courts, Kenney said.

He vowed to crack down on criminals who get out of jail without serving enough time.

"The wrong people are getting parole," he said. "This is not a justice system."

Alberta should have its own parole board to handle offenders sentenced to less than two years in jail, he added. Among provinces, only Ontario and Quebec currently have their own parole boards.

UCP slow to respond

NDP Leader Rachel Notley, campaigning in Fort McMurray, said the UCP caucus voted against an enhanced rural crime strategy that included 59 additional RCMP officers and 40 new civilian personnel.

Notley said it was the UCP who were slow to respond, not her government.