A new survey suggests most Albertans see no reason to replace the RCMP with a new provincial police force.
The results of a public opinion survey, conducted by Calgary pollster Janet Brown for Alberta Municipalities in late January, were released to the public on Thursday.
Eighty-five per cent of respondents said that if the Government of Alberta insisted on going ahead with the creation of an APS, the matter needed to be put to a provincial vote.
Sixty-six per cent of those surveyed thought the provincial government should spend its time, effort and resources on community service supports for Albertans who are marginalized and struggling with homelessness, addictions and mental health issues.
There was also broad support for increasing spending to improve current policing efforts in communities across Alberta and improve the provincial justice system.
“The results of this survey paint a very clear picture,” said Cathy Heron, Alberta Municipalities president.
“Albertans are simply not interested in a discussion or review of community policing in Alberta that is based on political aims or recommendations from the 2020 Fair Deal Panel Report. Municipalities are interested in discussing the delivery of community policing with the primary goal of enhancing public safety.”
Survey questions were administered through the TrendWatch Alberta Omnibus Survey between Jan. 17 and 24. TrendWatch Alberta is a monthly omnibus survey of 900 Albertans, ages 18 and over.
Alberta Municipalities has been calling for a provincewide public safety task force led by the Government of Alberta since Sept. 1, 2022.
Such a task force is urgently needed to explore and address the root causes of crime, as well as weaknesses in Alberta’s current justice system, Alberta Municipalities claimed in a statement, adding the association’s member communities believe a provincewide task force is urgently needed “and they want to see it happen now.”
Alberta Municipalities said it strongly encourages all the provincial political parties to include public safety and policing in their election platforms.
“Albertans deserve to know where the political parties and their candidates stand on these important issues as they prepare to vote in the 2023 Provincial Election,” the association’s statement said.
The full survey report can be viewed in the media section of ABmunis’ website at www.abmunis.ca.