PEI

Charlottetown to ask Federation of Municipalities to join civil forfeiture lobby effort

The City of Charlottetown is hoping other municipalities across the province will join its efforts to lobby the province to create civil forfeiture laws.

Civil forfeiture legislation would allow police to seize property believed to be linked to crime

Charlottetown council is lobbying the province to enact civil forfeiture legislation, and hopes the Federation of P.E.I. Municipalities will join the lobbying effort.

The City of Charlottetown is hoping other municipalities across the province will join its efforts to lobby the province to create civil forfeiture laws.

Civil forfeiture legislation would allow police to seize property that they believe has been involved in crime, or acquired illegally. 

Last month, Charlottetown council voted to send a letter to the province, asking it to enact such legislation. The following week, Summerside council passed a resolution to do the same. 

Now, Charlottetown is asking the Federation of P.E.I. Municipalities to get involved in the lobbying effort as well. At its monthly meeting Monday evening, council passed a resolution to ask the federation to create a task force, to help lobby the provincial government. 

Coun. Mitch Tweel put forward the motion. He said if the FPEIM gets on board, it would send "an unequivocal, clear message to the provincial government that the municipalities and the elected officials that are the closest to the people want action."

With the resolution passed unanimously, the city will bring the request to the federation at its next board meeting, and annual general meeting. 

'It's about time'

P.E.I. is one of just two provinces without civil forfeiture laws. The other is Newfoundland and Labrador. 

While most provinces do have civil forfeiture laws in place, they have not been without controversy, and have even been taken to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Coun. Mitch Tweel said he has heard positive feedback from residents about his call for civil forfeiture laws on P.E.I. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

Tweel said since council passed its original motion last month, the feedback he has heard has been "about 95 per cent in favour."

"I've heard from many residents across the city saying it's about time," Tweel said. 

Tweel believes civil forfeiture laws would be a useful tool for police, to combat drug dealing happening in certain homes. 

Last month, P.E.I. Attorney General Bloyce Thompson said his department would review and consider council's request.

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