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UCP outlines plans to improve public safety

The Alberta UCP promised more help across the province to keep citizens in cities and towns safe, with a new action plan.

The Safe Streets Action Plan, geared toward an increased number of officers and funding was announced in Edmonton on Tuesday, by UCP leader Danielle Smith.

The plan calls for 100 additional officers in Calgary and Edmonton, along with continuing to deploy Alberta Sheriffs alongside those officers. New anti-fentanyl and illegal-gun trafficking teams would be created, and more funding would be made available for internet child exploitation and gang suppression units, the UCP said.

“Every day, Albertans wake up to news that someone in their community has been attacked…or even worse,” said Danielle Smith.

“Enough is enough. We have to take action to ensure Albertans feel safe again.”

The UCP wasn’t immediately able to provide a cost for the items included in the announcement.

On April 4, the UCP government announced additional funding for 100 officers, split between Calgary and Edmonton. It’s not clear if this announcement means 100 more officers will be funded, or if it’s the same 100.  

We posed both questions to the UCP on Tuesday afternoon.  A response hasn’t yet been provided.

Along with those measures, the UCP would implement a bracelet monitoring system for dangerous offenders out on bail. Alberta Sheriffs would be used to monitor these individuals.

They would also make investments in women’s shelters and sexual assault counselling.

“Safe communities require more funding for robust and diverse police services, not their defunding,” said Mike Ellis, UCP candidate for Calgary-West, and former public safety minister.

According to statistics provided by the UCP, total calls for service to Calgary LRT stations increased to 9,317 in 2022, up 39 per cent from 6,706 in 2021. We’ve asked the Calgary Police Service for confirmation of these numbers.

Calgary mayor said they’ve been clear about city priorities

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said that anytime they work with provincial and federal governments on justice matters through the Calgary Police Service and Calgary Police Commission, she expects strong decisions would be made. 

After that, they would support those decisions as needed.

She hadn’t directly seen the items included in the UCP proposal as she was in a council meeting at the release time. The main points were mentioned to her.

“Calgary has been super clear about what we’re looking for in this election. We’ve had a chance to sit down with both leaders,” she said.

“We’ve been vocal about investments in downtown, we’ve been vocal about safe and predictable access to public transit, and we’ve talked about how the future of our city is one that involves orders of government working together.”

The Calgary-Bhullar-McCall candidate for the Alberta NDP, Irfan Sabir, said that the UCP has failed on public safety over the past four years.

“UCP cuts to affordable housing, emergency shelters and rental support have left more Albertans on the streets in desperation than ever before,” he said in a prepared release.

Sabir said the NDP’s plan was to add 150 officers provincewide, coupled with community support workers.