Jean vows to crack down on criminals if he’s UCP leader
Former Wildrose leader Brian Jean pledged a series of tough-on-crime policies Thursday as he continued his bid for the United Conservative Party leadership.
Jean was in Grande Prairie to unveil his latest policy planks, including tougher penalties for people who commit violent crimes, more resources for sexual assault victims and tackling the opioid crisis.
Jean said if his party formed government, he would introduce legislation barring dangerous offenders, murderers, rapists and others on the sex-offender registry from changing their names, improve probation monitoring and increase resources to stop human trafficking in Alberta.
“We must protect the dignity of every man, woman and child in our province,” he said in a statement.
“That means treating those harmed by the impacts of crime with incredible compassion, but keeping dangerous people off our streets.”
Pointing to increased trial delays in Alberta of late, Jean’s new policies include a commitment to reallocate more resources to Crown prosecutors and pressure the federal government to hire more judges.
In June, more than 1,400 cases, including serious and violent crimes, were at risk of being thrown out in Alberta for violating new time guidelines set out by the Supreme Court of Canada.
The issue was born out of the 2016 Jordan decision, which set specific time frames for reasonable limits on how long an accused can wait for trial. The ruling has put tremendous pressure on courts across the country.
Alberta created nine additional Court of Queen’s Bench positions in 2016, but there are still judicial vacancies across the province’s courts.
Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley has called on Ottawa to appoint more judges, and has said the case backlog and judiciary gaps were created by decades of positions not being filled.
The Wildrose has been critical of the province’s handling of fallout from the Jordan decision, and Jean reiterated that Thursday.
He also pledged to tackle rising rural crime by working with the RCMP and ALERT.
Former Wildrose leader Brian Jean is vying to lead Alberta’s newly formed United Conservative Party.