July 17, 2014

Putting Victims First: Protecting the rights of victims and keeping criminals off our streets

EDMONTON, AB (July 17, 2014): A Wildrose government would expand the use of GPS monitoring on violent criminals, introduce a provincial Victims’ Bill of Rights, crack down on white collar crime,  proclaim the Mandatory Reporting of Child Pornography Act and target child abuse, child exploitation and child pornography, the Wildrose Official Opposition announced today.

The commitments are just part of Moving Alberta Forward: Putting Victims First – the fifth of nine policy initiatives Wildrose will unveil this summer and fall. It was announced this morning in Edmonton.

“Wildrose believes that it should be the number one job of our justice system to put the rights of victims first,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said.  “Albertans deserve a government that will work tirelessly to protect our families and communities, make sure the rights of victims are protected and will keep violent criminals off our streets.”

The increase in GPS monitoring will target pedophiles and other dangerous offenders and includes mandating stricter enforcement for conditions of release.

These policies will be implemented alongside a new Victims’ Bill of Rights that will ensure victims are given the resources, protections and compensation necessary to cope with the damage inflicted on them by criminals.

“Albertans have spoken clearly on this issue. Victims should never be re-victimized and, as a government, it is our responsibility to make sure that never happens,” Smith said.

With white collar crime costing Albertans billions of dollars, a Wildrose government will strengthen the mandate and increase the resources of the Alberta Securities Commission and law enforcement to pursue white collar fraudsters and to return fraudulently obtained funds to victims.

By proclaiming the Mandatory Reporting of Child Pornography Act (passed in 2010), along with increasing funding for Alberta’s Integrated Child Exploitation (ICE) teams and creating a Child Protection Taskforce, Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw said Alberta can start taking more aggressive action against these horrible crimes.

“A further delay on tackling these disgusting acts against our children and most vulnerable would be completely unacceptable,” Saskiw said. “Albertans can be assured that a Wildrose government will not only give the resources necessary to ensure victims are protected from these crimes, but work to make sure they never have to happen in the first place.”

To read the entire policy document, click here.

Other highlights of Putting Victims First include:


          Introduce family law reforms that will ensure improved compliance with both maintenance and visitation orders



          Strike a taskforce to study and make recommendations that will make timely access to Alberta’s justice system more affordable for regular Albertans. This review should include an examination of how to better streamline the rules of court, when required, make self-representation easier, incent lawyers to do more pro bono work, and build and fund a more effective legal aid program



          Mandate the public reporting of key justice system indicators including the sentencing records of judges in criminal cases, criminal plea-bargains, and bail orders and violations



          Review the compensation that a spouse or dependent is entitled to under the Fatal Accidents Act, so that compensation payable by a wrongdoer is increased, and amend the Act to make a wrongdoer subject to punitive damages



          Create 5 dedicated Alberta Checkstop teams to aggressively police and prosecute individuals who are driving above the legal limit of .08 BAC, and free up further police and court resources towards prosecuting these drunk drivers by repealing the ineffective .05 legislation



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