Edmonton

UCP would back law to disclose domestic violence records to intimate partners

A UCP government would introduce legislation that would allow police to disclose someone’s violent or abusive past to intimate partners, party leader Jason Kenny announced Thursday.

Similar legislation passed in Saskatchewan in 2018

Jason Kenney announces the United Conservative Party's proposed plan to introduce domestic violence disclosure legislation, similar to a United Kingdom policy known as Clare's Law. (Nathan Gross/CBC)

A UCP government would introduce legislation that would allow police to disclose someone's violent or abusive past to intimate partners, party leader Jason Kenny announced Thursday.

The proposed legislation is modelled after the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme in the United Kingdom, also known as Clare's Law.  

The legislation aims to inform people who may not know they are in a relationship with someone who has a history of violence. Similar legislation was passed in Saskatchewan last year.

"A United Conservative government would bring in a law to better protect women who are vulnerable to violence from intimate partners, as part of our effort to ensure that women and vulnerable children receive all of the protection possible of the law," Kenney said. 

He later clarified the Alberta legislation would not only apply to women, but would aim to prevent domestic violence against men as well. 

The U.K. legislation is named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in the Greater Manchester area in 2009.

The legislation allows police to disclose a person's criminal history to that person's partner in some cases. A panel reviews cases to decide whether the person's past should be disclosed.

 "Our legislation would allow the person at risk and family members to apply for this information, although only the at-risk woman would receive it," Kenney said in a news release.

Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley was asked about the UCP's proposal Thursday and questioned the party's record on domestic violence issues. 

"There have been investments through the Victims of Crime Fund to expand programming for domestic violence survivors, they voted against that," said Ganley. "We have had funding come through for survivors of sexual violence, they voted against that. When we increased funding to women's shelters, they voted against that.

"So I hope that they're willing to put their money where their mouths are."

Kenney also revealed that the party will be making another announcement in a few days about additional support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.