Zero tolerance

Minister of Justice Alison Redford said Tuesday crime will happen in a community, but it’s a matter of getting a handle on it and finding new ways to tackle it.

Alberta Minister of Justice and Attorney General Alison Redford speaks during a town hall meeting in Red Deer as from the left

Minister of Justice Alison Redford said Tuesday crime will happen in a community, but it’s a matter of getting a handle on it and finding new ways to tackle it.

“We need to be in a mindset of zero tolerance,” Redford said. “There are those times in history when we say enough is enough and we are there now.”

Around 100 people gathered at the Chalet at Westerner Park for a Town Hall to discuss safe communities and families.

Community members, local politicians and representatives from community organizations asked about judge’s decisions about bail, how bail is determined, police communicating with residents and even graffiti.

The meeting was organized by Red Deer North MLA Mary Anne Jablonski and Red Deer South MLA Cal Dallas.

Inglewood resident Marlo Ruttan said he wants drug houses pushed out of the community and harsher sentences for drug users so that law abiding citizens are protected.

Redford said fighting crime in the province is about challenging conventional thinking and being prepared to pass legislation that might be challenged by the courts.

Redford, who served as a lawyer for 20 years before becoming the minister of justice and attorney general, said just because something can be challenged doesn’t mean you don’t do it.

Recently the province passed the civil forfeiture act allowing police to seize property from the proceeds of crime even without a person being found criminally responsible of the offence. The Supreme Court of Canada recently upheld similar Ontario legislation.

But Redford said upholding the law is also about knowing how to deal with different offenders and helping people receive help for their addictions or mental illness. She said they can be dealt with appropriately in the justice system, but when they come out there is a need for wrap-around services for them, so people aren’t constantly returning to the justice system.

Some in the audience showed concern about the decisions judge’s make in allowing an accused person to receive bail.

Redford said in speaking with judge’s many agree that the legislation and laws they are given to interpret are not the laws they would like to interpret. But she said it is important to have public dialogue around these issues so that judges understand the community’s concern.

TerryLee Ropchan, president of Red Deer Neighbourhood Watch, asked if police considered having some kind of educational series so people know what and how to report what they see to police.

Red Deer RCMP Supt. Brian Simpson said he encourages everyone to report drug houses and other information they feel could be helpful to police because it can help them get warrants. He said if people are afraid to get involved society is in trouble. Simpson said it’s up to everyone to take social responsibility and to do their part.

Just Posted

Lee seeks UCP nomination in Red Deer

Eyes Red Deer-North constituency

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Red Deer city council considers new business licence bylaw

All businesses operating in the City of Red Deer will require a… Continue reading

Saskatchewan farmer’s death triggers emotional harvest of love and respect

MILESTONE, Sask. — Volunteers have rallied to harvest the large wheat crop… Continue reading

Councillors want to represent Red Deer at AUMA

City council approves endorsement

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program from Aimia

TORONTO — A consortium led by Air Canada has reached a deal… Continue reading

Scheer going to India to ‘repair’ relationship after ‘disastrous’ Trudeau trip

OTTAWA — Six months after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s foreign policy prowess… Continue reading

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month