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Soft-on-crime priorities are wrong for Alberta: Saskiw

EDMONTON, AB (April 7, 2014): Justice Minister Jonathan Denis’ soft-on-crime policies continue to put victims of crime at risk, Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw said today. Last week, Denis cancelled a project that placed an ankle bracelet with a tracking device on criminals convicted of domestic abuse who are under direct orders to avoid contact with their victims. Last year, Denis eliminated a similar program that tracked sex offenders and eliminated prosecution for first-time offenders of minor property rights. “This minister has proven, once again, that he’s simply not up to the task of keeping our communities safe,” Saskiw said. “By cancelling a project that defended victims of domestic abuse, he has again shown that his priorities are way out line. This is a program that put the rights of victims first and should never have been cancelled.” A victim who spoke anonymously to the Red Deer Advocate said that she fears the worst after the government abruptly cancelled this project. “When they put the bracelet on, I felt at ease because I knew that the RCMP were watching him,” she said. “I even took the step of moving (out of town) and driving every day to Red Deer for work, but now I’m thinking I might have to quit my job.” Cancelling this program only saved the government $450,000. Saskiw noted in Question Period that this is about roughly what taxpayers paid the former Premier’s chief of staff in severance. “This is a government that has handed out millions in perks and severance for political insiders, but can’t find the money to protect victims of crime. It is shocking that this Minister is so out of touch with the priorities of Albertans,” Saskiw said.