Some United Conservative MLAs will be asking plenty of questions on rural crime with the Alberta legislature resumes sitting next week.
Fears about rural crime in southern Alberta prompting concerns from some local United Conservative MLAs as well as farmers and ranchers alike. Livingstone-Macleod UCP MLA, Pat Stier recently took part in a couple of open houses in Fort Macleod and Aldersyde along with two other southern Alberta UCP MLAs and Foothils MP John Barlow. Stier tells our radio station there are many concerns from rural residents when it comes to crime, including what steps they're allowed to take to protect their property. Stier says the UCP opposition plans on bringing up rural crime concerns when the Alberta legislature reconvenes next week. Stier says the UCP will be pushing the government to look at adding more officers at rural RCMP detachments. He notes at the same time we have to look improving the justice system. Stier some of the offenders who appear in court for property crimes one day get released and are back at it the next. Stier also says there seems to be a lack of clarity on the law on how farmers and ranchers can protect not only their property, but their families as well. Rural crime concerns have become a hot button issue in recent weeks with the not guilty verdict in the Gerald Stanley case in Saskatchewan and recent charges laid by RCMP in Okotoks against a rural property owner in that area who allegedly fired shots at someone on his land. Edouard Maurice will appear in Okotoks Provincial Court on March 9th in that case. - Pat Siedlecki