EDMONTON, AB (March 13, 2013): The PC government is now leaving small businesses and communities vulnerable because the province will no longer prosecute those who commit certain crimes, Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw said today. Justice Minister Jonathan Denis explained the new government policy unveiled in the budget as letting shoplifters and vandals get off scot-free after multiple offenses.
“This new Hug-a-Thug approach by the Justice Minister now leaves business owners and our communities ripe for the picking,” Saskiw said. “Criminals need to understand there are repercussions to their actions and that there are punishments attached to the crime. Albertans need to know their government is serious about cracking down on crime. The message this sends to criminals is that they have a free pass and that is just wrong.” Saskiw said that the government continues to fail to put the interests of victims first, whether it’s ending prosecution for first and second offenses for crimes or failing to provide adequate resources to prosecute serious offenses. “Liberal soft on crime policies will fail to protect victims and our communities here in Alberta,” Saskiw said. “It’s time for this Justice Minister to get real about the impact this government’s policies will have on both our justice system and on the safety and security of our communities.” Adult criminals are often youth offenders so they need to be deterred and learn consequences for their actions early on. In Question Period today, Saskiw also condemned the government’s plan to scrap electronic monitoring of high-risk offenders in communities, including those awaiting trial for sexual assaults. “Does this progressive Justice Minister know that these are bad guys, that they are likely to reoffend if not monitored and that his reckless decision is putting public safety and security at risk?” Saskiw asked.