April 25, 2013
Taxpayers pick up the $69 million tab for scrapping of police database
EDMONTON, AB (April 25, 2013): Justice Minister Jonathan Denis continues to mismanage Alberta’s justice system and waste taxpayer dollars after spending at least $69 million on a police integrated information system (API3) only to scrap the project in this year’s Back-in-Debt budget, Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw said today.
API3 was originally conceived in 2006 and its purpose was to share information among all of the province’s police forces. During her time as Justice Minister, Premier Alison Redford would have been responsible for supporting the project and spending taxpayer money on it. In estimates, Minister Denis said that over $69 million had already been spent on API3 before deciding to eliminate the project this year. “Considering that over the past year we have seen a justice system fail victims based on a chronic lack of resources, spending $69 million on a project that will never exist is nothing short of stunning incompetence by this minister and this Premier,” Saskiw said. “We need a justice system and a minister that understands how to manage a limited amount of resources and stop funneling money down the drain.” Among the $69 million spent includes the construction of a top secret building that was designed to house the servers for the API3 project. Today in Question Period, Saskiw noted that with the over $10 million dollars spent cancelling the Fort Macleod Police College in August 2012, the Justice Minister has seen his department spend over $80 million over the past year on wasted projects. “This justice minister and this premier are now infamous for throwing tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money down the drain, money that can now never be used to improve our justice system,” Saskiw said. “The mismanagement of these PC government initiatives is extremely disappointing and it’s time for this minister to be held accountable.”