More than 100 kids seized from Alberta drug houses

More than 100 kids have been apprehended from drug houses or drug dealers in Alberta since the province introduced Canada’s first legislation to protect youngsters from such situations.

EDMONTON — More than 100 kids have been apprehended from drug houses or drug dealers in Alberta since the province introduced Canada’s first legislation to protect youngsters from such situations.

“Essentially, drug activity has been increasing — unfortunately, innocent kids are often caught up in the middle of it,” said Alberta Children and Youth Services spokeswoman Lisa Elliot.

The legislation, enacted in November 2006, is designed to protect children from parents or caregivers who put them at risk by drug trafficking or manufacturing.

“It makes it clear, this is a form of child abuse, these kids need protection,” Elliott said.

Drug houses can expose children to toxic mould, pesticides and herbicides. There’s also the peril of a criminal lifestyle.”

And the cases are heartbreaking, said Delaney — toddlers in homes where drugs are in easy reach, children sleeping in bedrooms with hanging electrical wires and newborns found amid toxic levels of mould.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen them as young as they come,” Delaney said.

The law allows workers to take a child into custody for up to 48 hours. They can also apply for temporary guardianship, if needed.

More than half of the children seized are from the Calgary area.

“That’s a huge number out of the Calgary region,” said Child and Family Services spokeswoman Dawn Delaney.

She said the Calgary numbers speak to good collaboration between child welfare workers and police — and also the sheer volume of drugs.

In the first four months of 2009 alone police seized more than $28 million worth of pot plants in 37 grow-op busts in Calgary, compared with all of 2005 when $68 million worth was seized.

The law provides penalties of up to $25,000 in fines and/or imprisonment of up to two years.

However, there have been just nine charges laid across the province and no convictions, according to Alberta Justice statistics.

Still, child welfare workers say the act is working by getting kids out of harm’s way.

“Due to the fact we have apprehended 100-plus children provincially to date, I do feel this legislation is achieving its intended goal, removing children from unsafe environments,” said Delaney.

Just Posted

Rejected Red Deer County cannabis production facility to go to appeal

County’s subdivision and development appeal board hearing set for May 2

Open house on proposed addictions treatment centre to be held at former Red Deer nightclub

Community is invited to learn more about the $2-million project on May 2

Red Deer looks to be creative to attract business downtown

Co-op to close downtown store after 56 years

Family: A potpourri of Easter egg hunts, music and politics

The election is a thing of the past. Albertans have spoken. They… Continue reading

Sri Lankan-Canadians mourn victims of terrorist attack in their homeland

Sri Lankan-Canadians were gathering Monday to mourn those killed in a massive… Continue reading

Residents along Saint John River told to remain on alert as floodwaters rise

FREDERICTON — People who live along New Brunswick’s Saint John River are… Continue reading

Prince Edward Island voters to cast verdict on new electoral system

CHARLOTTETOWN — Canadians are expected to learn late Tuesday whether the cradle… Continue reading

Early, photogenic iceberg raises expectations for Newfoundland’s season

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — This historic port city welcomed an unexpected early… Continue reading

Captain Ghislaine Landry leads Canada to victory at Kitakyushu Sevens

KITAKYUSHU, Japan — Captain Ghislaine Landry scored with no time remaining and… Continue reading

Marchand scores twice as Bruins force a seventh game with 4-2 win over Leafs

TORONTO — After a flying start in front of a raucous home… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan’s royal baby: Questions asked and answered

LONDON — The time is drawing near for the impending birth of… Continue reading

Most Read