UCP promises safe streets, announces plan to monitor offenders on bail
EDMONTON — United Conservative Leader Danielle Smith has announced a plan to restore safety on city streets and public transit if re-elected on May 29.
Smith says a UCP government would monitor dangerous offenders out on bail with ankle bracelets and add 100 patrol officers.
She says the party would also create new anti-fentanyl and anti-gun trafficking teams, as well as increase funding for tackling gang-related crimes and child exploitation.
Smith adds the UCP would provide more funding for women's shelters and sexual assault counselling.
Mike Ellis, the UCP candidate of Calgary West, says the new anti-fentanyl team led by the Alberta Sheriffs would stop drugs from crossing the United States border into the province.
Ellis, who is the Alberta minister of public safety, says an anti-gun trafficking team would work to stop illegal guns from making their way into the hands of criminals.
"The Liberal-NDP soft-on-crime approach is costing lives and Albertans and all Canadians deserve better," Smith said Tuesday.
She added the party stands with other provinces that have demanded the federal government reform the bail system.
The UCP announcement comes after a woman and her child were killed in what police say was a random attack outside an Edmonton school on Friday.
Police have said the suspect in the killing has mental health issues and was charged multiple times over the last decade with assaulting minors.
Smith said the plan and increased funding would make it easier for parents to know the whereabouts of violent and sexual offenders.
Last month, Smith also announced that the government wanted 100 more street-level police officers over the next year and a half to tackle violence on transit systems in Edmonton and Calgary.
Irfan Sabir, Alberta NDP justice critic, said the UCP has failed to ensure public safety for four years.
"The UCP took funding for police away from municipalities in 2019, withheld resources from victims of crime, and refused to fully fund women’s shelters," Sabir said Tuesday.
He said Albertans should have "zero confidence in Danielle Smith’s last-minute pre-election reversals."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2023.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
Ritika Dubey, The Canadian Press