Alberta Politics
There is rural crime in Alberta, what isn’t clear is how much, or what to do about it (Photo: Royal Canadian Mounted Police).

UCP rural crime proposal sure sounds like a call to bring deadly U.S.-style ‘stand-your-ground’ laws to Canada

Posted on July 08, 2018, 2:38 am
12 mins

I’m sure the United Conservative Party will say I’m wrong, so can somebody please explain to me how the UCP’s rural crime “task force” proposal to let rural property owners defend themselves and their property with firearms is not the same as the “stand-your-ground” laws in the United States that encourage gun owners to respond to real and imagined crimes with deadly force?

This particular UCP proposal to “combat rural crime” sure sounds like “stand-your-ground” to me. If it were adopted in Canada, whatever it’s called, you can count on it that many needless tragedies would result, just as they have in the United States.

A billboard warns tourists about Florida’s “stand-your-ground” law (Photo: journey24pointoh.com).

Indeed, the idea is bad enough on its face – and so at odds with what we actually know about the reality of rural crime in Alberta – it’s tempting to describe it as depraved. More likely, though, it’s commonplace pandering of the most cynical kind to the fears of the party’s rural base – some of which are justified, many of which are not, and a few of which, like the document’s unsupported claim that most rural crime is committed by mysterious bad guys from the city, are nothing more than dogwhistle fantasies.

In Common Law, self-defence claims require people supposedly defending themselves to show they tried to retreat from danger.

U.S. stand-your-ground laws – which arise out of American attitudes about firearms and race – eliminate the legal necessity to retreat. The horrifying reality of this pernicious legislative trend pushed by the National Rifle Association is that it encourages violent vigilantism and incites firearms users to shoot first and not bother with questions, later or otherwise. In a 2015 report, the American Bar Association termed these laws racially biased and a “license to kill.”

The Journal of the American Medical Association reported in 2016 that Florida’s stand-your-ground law resulted in a 24-per-cent increase in homicides and a 32-per cent increase in firearm-related homicides.

Never mind the surging slaughter in Florida, though. One only needs to consider what happened to a young Indigenous man in Saskatchewan in 2016 and what an all-white jury did about it to know we are not immune from the same pressures in Canada if given half a chance.

The recommendations of the so-called UCP task force use imprecise, bureaucratic language to describe the party’s proposed policies. But it is hard to argue the intent is not the same as stand-your-ground.

After accusing the NDP government of Premier Rachel Notley of not doing enough about rural crime, the UCP document calls on the province to “advocate for Criminal Code reform by the federal government to clarify and strengthen the defence of person and property provisions …”

As an aside, this seems pretty rich, seeing as the UCP caucus in the Legislature voted No, twice, to funding for the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General that included budget for 59 new rural RCMP officers. But, give them their due, at least they didn’t hide in the hallways of the Legislature and refuse en masse to vote, as they did for the NDP’s abortion clinic safety zone bill.

A few lines later, the document urges the province to ensure “appropriate consideration” is given by Crown Prosecutors “to the following issues in determining whether the use of force in self defence … should preclude prosecution against victims of crime.” (Emphasis added.) The same section encourages the province to lobby for similar considerations in the Criminal Code.

Such extenuating circumstances allowing violent “self defence” by homeowners would include:

  • Remote location
  • Expectation of slow police response
  • Failure of the alleged intruder to leave when instructed
  • Evidence the supposed intruder is intoxicated
  • “Threatening behaviour” by the alleged intruder

And just to be clear, we are talking about firearms here, as the report complains on another page: “Despite inadequate assistance from police, (rural residents) are warned about engaging in self-defence using lawfully-owned firearms, leading to people’s increased frustration and fear for their families’ safety.” (Emphasis added.)

UCP rural crime “task force” member Angela Pitt (Photo: My former student Chris Bolin; Wikimedia).

It is said here this is tantamount to declaring law-free open season on anyone – perhaps even a lost MLA on a hunting trip – who wanders onto an isolated property.

If this ever comes to pass, don’t walk onto someone’s farm to ask for help with a flat tire – not without a Kevlar vest and an assault rifle. And if you’re going to visit your cousin Harry north of town, the one who don’t want no stinkin’ gun control, you might want to let him know in advance what time you’re coming over. And just to be on the safe side, make sure you speak passable English and aren’t feeling a little light-headed that day.

The supposed need for such a law is what the UCP document refers to in phrases such as “a disturbing increase in crime across rural Alberta.” This claim is repeated tirelessly by the many UCP cheerleaders in mainstream media.

The problem, of course, is that it’s not really true. Widespread opinions in rural Alberta notwithstanding, actual statistics collected by reputable agencies like Statistics Canada show rural areas have lower property crime rates than urban areas, and rural crime rates per 100,000 people in Canada are roughly constant, although property thefts are up. All Alberta rural crime rates in May fell 10 per cent, though, presumably in response to moves by the NDP.

The task force’s dodge to deal with this reality is to claim frustrated rural residents are no longer reporting crime to the police.

This is improbable, especially where injury, property damage, loss or anything else likely to be covered by insurance is involved. Insurers require reporting, after all. Nevertheless, it’s a conveniently unverifiable claim to back up the Trump-style misleading narrative being spun by the UCP.

UCP rural crime “task force” member Mike Ellis, a former police officer who ought to know better (Photo: UCP Caucus).

Similarly, the report claims many rural criminals “are coming from urban centres to commit crimes in rural areas.” Where is the evidence for this?

There is none. What’s more, the facts we know suggest the opposite. Statistically speaking, you’re less likely to be assaulted by a stranger in rural Canada than in a Canadian city. You’re more likely to be assaulted by a relative in the country than the city. Rural violent crime rates in Canada are higher per capita than in cities.

Real crime statistics show the notion that rural crime is committed by people from cities is nothing more than a sly dog whistle. Most rural crime originates close to home.

It’s certainly possible criminals from the city venture into the countryside from time to time. But if you’ve heard of a case of this happening, it was probably in a Hollywood movie.

Another idea in the report almost as bad as its stand-your-ground proposal is allowing rural residents to create private security forces with official sanction – posses, more like, or armed mobs. We all know where that leads.

The UCP document is not bereft of good ideas. Alberta vehicles should be required to display front plates again, for example, although it would require a reversal of a negligent policy by a previous Conservative government.

Other legitimate but un-costed ideas like hiring more Crown prosecutors, collecting more statistics, developing crime-prevention programs, and creating a victims’ rights bureaucracy would be enormously expensive – and this in a report that cheekily and inaccurately accuses the NDP of both ignoring and “throwing money” at the problem.

The task force’s two members are Calgary-West MLA Mike Ellis, a former police officer who ought to know better, and Airdrie MLA Angela Pitt, who until recently was busy fending off a nomination challenge in her riding. They were assisted, the report says, by former Alberta Crown Prosecutor Scott Newark, associated with the neoliberal Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

A third member of the task force, Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Don MacIntyre, resigned from the UCP Caucus and the Legislature in February after it was revealed he had been charged with a serious criminal offence. The case is scheduled to be “resolved before the court” without trial on Jan. 11, 2019.

Needless to say, this document will be tossed into the recycler, where it belongs, if it ever gets to Ottawa. But it’s all part of the UCP’s cynical two-pronged strategy to shore up its rural base by claiming the Liberals in Ottawa and the NDP in Edmonton are not doing enough about rural crime, so we’re bound to keep hearing about it over and over again.

72 Comments to: UCP rural crime proposal sure sounds like a call to bring deadly U.S.-style ‘stand-your-ground’ laws to Canada

  1. Sam Gunsch

    July 8th, 2018

    Reality: Kenney’s UCP has been watching too many Bruce Willis/Mel Gibson movies… they’ve grown a Trump-like reality for their AB political messaging.

    re: ‘probably in a Hollywood movie.”

    re: ‘Real crime statistics show the notion that rural crime is committed by people from cities is nothing more than a sly dog whistle. Most rural crime originates close to home.

    It’s certainly possible criminals from the city venture into the countryside from time to time. But if you’ve heard of a case of this happening, it was probably in a Hollywood movie.’

    Reply
    • Christy Dewalt

      July 8th, 2018

      Your just wrong – look it up. Rural crime is committed by urban persons most of the time.

      Reply
      • Death and Gravity

        July 9th, 2018

        Evidence, please.

        Reply
      • David Bridger

        July 9th, 2018

        Since you seem so sure that rural crime is committed by urban folks, name several instances of that. Anyone can claim something, but to be taken seriously you need to name instances.

        Reply
    • July 9th, 2018

      I have a fire extinguisher in my kitchen not because I plan on using it, but just in case I’m left with no other option. Can you imagine having to wait 5-25 minutes for help to arrive when fire is murdering you?

      If you are too afraid to learn how to use firearms, or feel you don’t need one, that is ok I agree with your right to refuse new skills and basic knowledge of self defence. The problem though is when you are trying to bully responsible adults away from owning a tool that can help stop a crime (without even a shot being sent). Perhaps we can have a civil discussion and you can stop telling us we are watching too many movies.

      Thanks
      James Walper
      Libertarian Party of Canada
      Someone who doesn’t have time to watch movies.

      Reply
      • Death and Gravity

        July 11th, 2018

        Wow. Condescending dickhead, much? But I see that you are Libertarian. Look no further.

        I’m sure you’ll be forming the government in the very next election.

        Reply
    • Kim

      July 9th, 2018

      Actually, in addition to sightings of thieves taking stolen property back to the city, RCMP confirmed that professional thieves from the nearest large urban centere were targeting our area. I wish it were limited to films :/

      Reply
    • Tom Kovacs

      July 9th, 2018

      Are you trying to prove your stupid? You had best do some research because right now you are an idiot with that statement

      Reply
    • Darryl Runningdog

      July 9th, 2018

      Actually the home invasions and residence thefts are mostly from urban parts it is the tractor and farming supplies that are from more local crime.

      Reply
  2. Expat Albertan

    July 8th, 2018

    If the UCP forms government, implements this strategy, and gets rid of the abortion clinic safety zone legislation, then what is to prevent abortion zone staff or patients to use this legislation to protect themselves from the very real threat of anti abortion protestors?

    Reply
    • Rocky

      July 8th, 2018

      Because women’s health clinics are in the city, silly. In the UCP’s twisted worldview, only country folk are allowed to behave like murderous thugs with a licence to kill. WHITE country folk, that is. Cuz, you know, they’re all GOOD people. City people will have to wait for underfunded city cops – their budgets transferred to the hinterland – to show up!

      Reply
      • Expat Albertan

        July 8th, 2018

        Depends – is the list of five circumstances cumulative or does any one of them justify standing your ground?

        Reply
    • Tom Kovacs

      July 9th, 2018

      Simple brain dead they call the cops who are 3 min away unlike the rural area who are a hr away you simpleton!

      Reply
  3. Bloozguy

    July 8th, 2018

    “Evidence the supposed intruder is intoxicated”. I can’t see how such a law could be limited to rural areas….. “He was pissing in my bushes officer”.

    Reply
    • tom in ontario

      July 8th, 2018

      “Evidence the supposed intruder is intoxicated.”
      OK Intruder, I got this here breathalyzer and my six-shooter.
      Blow into it, and if yer drunk I plug ya, got it?

      Reply
    • James Walper

      July 9th, 2018

      Don’t pee on other peoples land? We have washrooms all over this beautiful province. Secondly, no gun owner is going to drop a guy for peeing on the bushes, but I’m sure some ahole lawyer will make a fortune off the taxpayer trying to push that story.

      Reply
  4. anon

    July 8th, 2018

    Until we smarten up and end drugs prohibition, there will always be people stealing to support their drug requirements and organized criminals willing to provide the supply and suggestions about how to get the money. The UCP’s contention that we can arrest or shoot our way out of this is another example of their emotion driven thinking.

    Reply
    • MAtt H

      July 8th, 2018

      So we should allow junkies to legally do drugs? how will they pay for them? Will I have to fork over my tax money to buy them meth? I will defend my property with my firearm instead as it seems like you just want to protect your junkie friends.

      Reply
      • Anon

        July 9th, 2018

        Matt: there is nothing to be afraid of. It is much cheaper to supply heroin and other addicts with their drug of choice. The experience in other jurisdictions where this is done shows that most of them lead productive and lawful lives and the rest do not really trouble anybody. This means much less policing costs, theft and so on.
        Now you will have to excuse me while I have my morning cup of tea (which the British medical association circa 1650 recommended banning as a dangerous drug).

        Reply
        • Scott

          July 9th, 2018

          Heroin and meth junkies do not live productive lives if you give them free drugs and youre comparing tea to these drugs? Grow a brain.

          Reply
          • anon

            July 10th, 2018

            The evidence from other jurisdictions where they supply pharmaceutical grade heroin to addicts is that many of them revert to a maintenance dose and lead relatively normal lives as do more than a few professionals in Canada and elsewhere. For the rest, they no longer resort to crime to support their drug requirement.

            The two other points I was making were that drug addiction is a medical, rather than a criminal problem. We make drug addicts into criminals by making drugs illegal which creates the social problems. Think of heroin as insulin for the existentially anxious.

            The second point is that so-called dangerous drugs are largely a social construct – hence the tea example. Until the 1905 Singapore convention, all drugs were legal and unregulated in the world. What this historical fact demonstrates is that addictions are largely a function of the social conditions of the individual. In the prosperous west very few had any problem with opium while in the colonized areas where economic exploitation was vicious; segments of the population became habituated to opium. This was not really a problem for the colonizing powers BTW.

            Like many in the UCP, the resort to insult (grow a brain) and other illogical argument forms (sex addiction, how is that relevant?) have become a substitute for thought and evidence based knowledge.
            The UCP contention people should be allowed to murder others for trespass simply demonstrates their total inexperience with actually killing people using a gun. Those with a military background can assure the UCP this is not something you do lightly or without resulting grave personal angst for the rest of your life – unless of course you are already sociopathic.

        • sad canuck

          July 9th, 2018

          all for the government helping addicts…now about my sex addiction..

          Reply
  5. brett

    July 8th, 2018

    I believe that their policy has much more to do about the next election than it does about actually fighting crime.

    No surprise whatsoever.

    They needed to change the station after the last go round. Kenney somehow thought that Albertans would rally behind him when he started blowing smoke about the inequality of our country’s Provincial equalization payment system.

    That talk seemed to disappear when the locals realized that Kenney was a senior Cabinet Minister in the Harper Gov’t and during that time had nothing to say about the program or the perceived inequalities of it. And neither did Harper.

    Reply
    • Debbie J.

      July 9th, 2018

      Equalization payments change with time, and with Governments.

      Reply
  6. Sassy

    July 8th, 2018

    The NDP government has already started to help rural areas with this announcement in March:
    https://www.producer.com/2018/03/alberta-introduces-new-rural-crime-strategy/ :

    “Rural Albertans can expect more RCMP officers on the ground, more civilian staff and more crown prosecutors to fight crime in their communities.

    The strategy, outlined by the province March 9, will cost $10 million. It includes 39 new officers, 40 civilian staff and eight to 10 crown prosecutors. As well, the plan includes tracking technologies for farm equipment and better co-ordination between RCMP detachments.

    snip

    One of the main focuses of the strategy involves four crime reduction units. The units will include officers who are specifically trained to arrest high-profile criminals and ones who are trained to do intelligence and criminal analysis. To ensure officers are on the ground, civilian employees will be hired to do much of the paperwork.

    As well, the units will co-ordinate with one another to target criminal hot spots in the province. They will also work with Alberta sheriffs, Fish and Wildlife officers, commercial vehicle enforcement and conservation officers.”

    I agree about the false accusation of thieves from the city being the major culprits. I suspect auto part chop-shops operate in a fair number of farm Quonsets throughout the province. Killer James Roszko of Mayerthorpe infamy was a local criminal with a chop-shop on his property. It’s common sense that a vehicle or machinery thief would not drive hours back to the city and risk being caught. Most country criminal gangs are rural-based and know the lay of the land.

    The UCP gun proposals are extremely backward, but if they are so sure of the rural vote, I do wonder why they keep presenting ideas that would only appeal to their base.

    Reply
  7. Steve

    July 8th, 2018

    What is wrong with standing your ground? A person can’t always run away from criminals looking to do them harm, nor should they have to. Why is the victim made to be a vicious criminal and the criminal made to be a helpless victim? It’s exactly these attitudes that give the criminals the idea they have the right to assault and kill others.

    Reply
    • Expat Albertan

      July 8th, 2018

      Nothing, if we’re talking about self defense. But that is not what stand- your-ground laws are about. They are about perceived threat and as soon as you bring this type of subjectivity into the mix, innocent people will be killed.

      Reply
      • Mike

        July 8th, 2018

        So you don’t know what the stand your ground actually does? Awesome man

        Reply
        • Expat Albertan6

          July 9th, 2018

          I do. I don’t think that you do.

          Reply
      • Raisng Hale

        July 11th, 2018

        I can’t imagine that any law abiding licensed gun owner plans on shooting anyone just because they have a gun. Stand-Your-Ground laws work well to deter criminal activity just by being in place. Many states in the US that utilize this law, have decreased crime rates. It shouldn’t matter which political party wants to implement it. If it works, put it in place. Unless those who oppose it are common criminals, the law shouldn’t affect them.

        Reply
  8. Josh

    July 8th, 2018

    Whoever wrote this is a jack ass, clearly the have never lived in rural alberta. Crime will go down because these thieves won’t be as likely too go steal shit when they know they can get shot with no consequences to the land owner. What good does hiring more cops do? Unless they’re going too hire enough cops so every person living in rural Alberta has their own personal cop that can be at the landowners property 24 hours a day nothing will change. The cops dont show up until the thief is long gone, all hiring more cops is gonna do is result in more people getting horse shot tickets like having window tinting. Just about every family I know that lives in rural Alberta has had shit stolen, my family included. They went threw my parents vehicles on one occasion, another time they stole my brothers $6000 dirt bike, they came in our yard one time, seen that the lights where on and peeled out of our yard. I chased them down and asked what they where doing, they had some bull shit story, guarantee they went out and robbed people that night, maybe they would have left if I was sticking my rifle in their face. Whoever wrote this is some city slicker dip shit who doesn’t know how too wipe their own ass.

    Reply
    • Expat Albertan

      July 8th, 2018

      Were people at home when they were robbed? If not, stand-your-ground laws will not have any deterrence whatsoever. You see, if people know that nobody’s home (as easy to ascertain as knocking on the door), it’s a good bet they won’t get shot robbing the place. I’m not a thief, but I’m pretty sure that’s how they do business.

      Reply
      • Josh

        July 9th, 2018

        We where home all 3 times. They snuck in at night. If they had the shot of legally getting shot in the back of their minds maybe they wouldn’t have robbed us, if you haven’t lived in rural alberta shut the fuck up, because you dont have any experience with rural crime. City people need too stop telling us rural residents how too live

        Reply
  9. Arron

    July 8th, 2018

    The author is completely out of touch with rural crime . We (farmers) are unable to claim almost all thefts under $5000 and actual come out even. The home break ins and fuel theft is like a death by a thousand bites. Unable to leave teenagers and elderly alone in the houses. Unable to change the lay- outs of the farm yards to not tempt would be thrives from our hard earned and essential tools of our trade. Who actually gets a flat and can’t phone for help? What unprepared hunters are wandering around aimlessly and gets lost in the carefully plotted farms of Alberta? This isn’t 1990. This is 2018, the year of meth, fentanyl, organize crime and Kijiji. The numbers can’t be found for this crime wave because it is bigger than the system can keep up with. Either we give safe drug use sites for free for these sick zombies or we shoot them. We need the law on the clean working side not on the sick and deprived side. We are getting beaten back by the tidal wave.

    Reply
    • Death and Gravity

      July 9th, 2018

      It must be great to be able to prove everything by assertion and innuendo and paranoia. The very lack of any evidence for a rural crime wave is irrefutable proof of the wave’s enormity. This sort of argument is only used by those whose murderous objectives can’t stand the light of day.

      Reply
      • Scotty on Denman

        July 10th, 2018

        The UCP document extolls anecdote, observations and statistics—jeez, some of the most unbiased, exacting measures of reality ever known, immune to exaggeration, opinion or prejudice—now more than 94% better than ever before! Hurry! Get powers of exceptional perception and discernment, and impeccably just faculties to see into the future, important when an intruder might be on drugs which don’t show signs of intoxication so the possibility or immanet domain harm can’t be ruled out so the duty of protection makes the right of shooting yer gun legal. Don’t delay, there might be more’n one of ‘em!

        What more does one need to pass death sentences?

        No worries when it’s virtually impossible to commit injustices with improved admissibility of evident favour in like-minded family, friends and neighbours’ suspicion reports, continuous private police networking and statistically profiled community forewarning announcements while, for added justice, the RCMP is required by legislated provincial laws that can criminalize negligence in filing and maintaining access to anecdotes and observations of communities and a supporting, publicly registered, local private police force!

        Provincial legislation should require that rurally remote farm families should be made aware these safeguards exist before using their firearms in self defence, and ensure under enforcible regularity their rights and freedoms with strictly expected convenience targets. Act now because the NDP has done nothing except surround you.

        Reply
  10. Ttrvor

    July 8th, 2018

    What a stupid article with a bunch of stupid left wing idiots commenting. You sit there and live in your cities and towns and bitch and complain about a 20 minite response time? Get out of your shell and think about a 2 day wait time and thats even if they show up, usually its just a phone call.
    And why must you fucking idiots always make it about race? Just had to emphasize the “white rural resident” didn’t you? You people disgust me, get a job, earn your shit and then sit back and way h people steal what you’ve

    Reply
    • David

      July 9th, 2018

      A person who has a point and wants to express it should have enough command of the english language to express it without resorting to a profane diatribe.

      Reply
  11. Ttrvor

    July 8th, 2018

    What a stupid article with a bunch of stupid left wing idiots commenting. You sit there and live in your cities and towns and bitch and complain about a 20 minite response time? Get out of your shell and think about a 2 day wait time and thats even if they show up, usually its just a phone call.
    And why must you fucking idiots always make it about race? Just had to emphasize the “white rural resident” didn’t you? You people disgust me, get a job, earn your shit and then sit back and watch people steal what you’ve worked for and while its being stolen and your sense of security in your own home is gone don’t even think of protecting your shit. Idiots

    Reply
  12. Matt H

    July 8th, 2018

    Stand your ground and defend your property with force! CCW and castle law are the only way we can fight back against today’s methed up criminals. Alberta is pro gun and all shooting ranges I attend are booked solid with pistol and 3-gun AR15 courses exploding in popularity. We should be legally allowed to use these tools for our defense.

    Reply
  13. Kim

    July 8th, 2018

    An article written by someone with absolutely no understanding of true rural living.

    Rural residents, for the most part, understand the need to be helpful, because in crisis we need the help of each other. We have all had someone drive down our driveway, stop at the gate and walk up friendly like for help, and we don’t greet them with firearms.

    We have also all had trucks full of young guys cruise slowly down the driveway, and take off, multiple times as they scope our place out. Maybe even take a loop around the shop or barn slow-like. Imagine how scary that is for a young teenager home alone because every one else is out in the field. Police could be several hours away, if they even have phone service at their ranch. That girl feels a lot safer at the prospect of being assulted by a group of men with a loaded shotgun in her hands.

    We ask ranch owners to retreat. So we are telling theives they can walk onto any rural property and load up a rancher’s entire life without any fear because the ranchers aren’t allowed to protect their livelihood. Rancher needs their quad to check their cows during calving and can’t afford a new one? Too bad rancher that city folks don’t give a darn about, you aren’t allowed to stop that thief as he throws it into his pickup. How rediculous.

    And its true, we don’t report to the police anymore. Why bother? The cops aren’t going to come out, and can’t do anything even if they did. Insurance you say? Hilarious. Many of us can’t afford insurance.

    We feed Canada, and yet Canadians like the author of this article completely turn their back on us rural ranchers and farmers as we get victimized by professional theives who KNOW we aren’t allowed to defend ourselves.

    Reply
    • Sean Short

      July 9th, 2018

      Alberta RCMP Supt. John Bennett said property crime in rural areas has increased 23 per cent over the last five years. Offences include break and enters, vehicle theft, theft under $5,000 and possession of stolen goods.
      When, as this article does, someone starts quoting statistics; look them up. Since I did, and this was the result to which Stats Can agreed as well as the AB stats confirmed, I give lie to the authors supposed facts.
      The obvious bias of the article makes it easy to understand the author has little association with the truth and much more agreement with socialist propaganda.

      Reply
    • Tom Kovacs

      July 9th, 2018

      Well said Kim ,… And yes Dave has ZERO clue about rural life he is also a spear head for taking voting power away from rural Albertans because they dont represent HIS socialist values!

      Reply
  14. Morgan McCallum

    July 8th, 2018

    DAVID CLIMENHAGA. Nice how you were able to throw in the White privilege/all white biased jury thing. For a simple thief. Possibly a killer. You have no shame or morals.

    Reply
  15. Murray

    July 8th, 2018

    How horrible, people being allowed to defend themselves from criminals that intend to harm or kill them. Those conservatives truly are evil, only criminals should have rights

    Reply
  16. Gail

    July 8th, 2018

    Regardless of statistics until we deal with the fact that people in rural areas are feeling much more harassed by crime than in the past nothing productive will happen. Claiming that rural people are ignorant of statistics, ignoring their lived-experiences, and fear-mongering over nothing doesn’t advance any discussion on this topic and simply drives them to the UCP as the only party not belittling rural residents.

    Reply
  17. Christy Dewalt

    July 8th, 2018

    Completely off side and talking through your hat about things you don’t know or understand. Why should I retreat from what is mine. City dwellers have special consideration in home invasion? When your on my farm threatening my family, my children!, maybe shooting at my dogs, my calves or my horses this isn’t “property”. These are living things, unreplaceable things. The law doesn’t put up with invaders to work offices – why is my “office” any different? I can’t get help – why should farm families fear for there lives, there livings and there livelyhood. Insurance – are you on glue – farmers can’t inaure everything. Further allot of the farmers who have been hit multiple times (yes the thugs come back) are being refused insurance. This is our land, our home and when a stranger steps into int they should know it and have respect for it. I absoluetly feel I NEED the right to protect what is mine. You know the RCMP can’t respond quickly enough.

    Reply
  18. Nate

    July 9th, 2018

    All of Canada needs castle doctrine laws. There is no excuse for the government to dictate that you can not defend yourself. That is effectively what the current system does. Legally you are allowed self defense. But you better have hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay in legal fees once you do. castle doctrine doesn’t really give you more rights as much as it clarifies it. As well as allowing you to defend your children. When you need help now the police are only an hour plus away.

    Reply
  19. Daryl Michael Hicks

    July 9th, 2018

    You should have the right in Rural areas to protect your property and family within reason if there is a threat given police response times. A lot of people think you don’t need guns to protect your property, you just need god in your life. Well I will tell you what! If there is a property or home invasion on your rural property and they have a loaded rifle in the front seat and outnumber you and your family members, you will be praying to god that someone with a gun shows up.
    For Rural homeowners wanting to defend their properties, maybe put fourth legislation that requires them to take a defense course and deem what is reasonable use of force.

    Reply
  20. Mark S Robson

    July 9th, 2018

    This isn’t even just a rural Alberta problem, I had my truck broken into by a neighbors visiting relative when I called the cops and told them who it was and where they went it took them until the next evening to show up and they didn’t do a thing because it was a teenager from out of province and it wouldn’t be worth the courts time. This didn’t happen out in the sticks it was in Burlington one of the most affluent cities in Ontarios golden horseshoe, because of hands off policing we now have a rampant theft and drug problem which is only getting worse.

    Reply
  21. robert

    July 9th, 2018

    The author is mischaracterizing ” Stand your ground” laws. They were enacted to simply remove the legal necessity to retreat, if possible. Individuals are still required to account for their use of force, including ” excessive” use of force. Self-defense shootings in Florida increased simply because more people were defending themselves. It can hardly be called vigilantism when one is on their own property. The author uses typical anti-gun rhetoric, a false-sense of nationality, and delves into race-baiting, while he’s at it.

    Reply
  22. Tom Kovacs

    July 9th, 2018

    Hey Davie boy ,…… Tic Toc ten months Tic Toc ……..

    Reply
  23. Bob Raynard

    July 9th, 2018

    I think we are seeing from many of the commenters above the frustration of feeling powerless when they are victims of crime, and the feeling that picking up a gun would be a simple solution. Unfortunately they need to think through the consequences of their ‘grab a gun’ solution.

    This link
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/father-son-pulled-over-bathroom-break-sask-rural-road-1.4733672

    tells the story of a fellow and his Down Syndrome son who were driving to Regina on Canada Day. When nature called they pulled off the highway and drove down a gravel road a bit before stopping to do their business. The landowner saw them near her quonset and called police. They were arrested on suspicion of break and enter, but then released when the landowner realized there had been no break and enter.

    (Since the pair were indigenous the story has a racial profile element which is irrelevant for this discussion, and I suppose the two of them could have been scoping the place out, but it does seem unlikely that a father would teach his Down Syndrome son how to be a thief.)

    Now run this story through your mind if the farm owner had the self defense privileges some of the above commenters are calling for. The land owner was so convinced she was being robbed that she called the police. With changed gun laws she could have murdered two people for taking a pee.

    So, questions that supporters of self defense laws need to consider are:

    1. How many accidental deaths are acceptable in exercising your self defense right?
    2. In the above scenario, which clearly is not hypothetical, should ‘I thought they had robbed me’ be a defense for murder?
    3. Suppose it is your son or daughter who gets shot while relieving themselves. Will you accept the adjacent landowner’s claim that he thought he was being robbed, or will you want revenge for the murder of your innocent child when the courts give you no satisfaction?

    Grab a gun seems like a simple, straightforward solution, but the reality is a lot more complicated. Sadly the solution is effective at selling newspapers.

    Reply
    • Scott

      July 9th, 2018

      There are no accidental deaths with self defense, you would still have to be justified in your decision to pull the trigger.

      Reply
      • Expat Albertanf

        July 9th, 2018

        What, after some innocent person is killed?

        Reply
  24. George Clark

    July 9th, 2018

    The UCP proposals are what the citizens mist affected have been asking for. It’s called Participatory Democracy wherein the people get involved in fixing what’s broken.

    Suggesting that innocent people might get shot is total BS. Comparing Florida homicide rates as a correlation to CCW laws is irrelevant, especially in light of the rise in the presence of MS13 fueled by Obama’s open border policies.

    Crime rates in rural Alberta will decrease once the repeat offenders learn that robbing them is no longer easy pickings. City folk forget that it’s not just property being defended. It’s often children & grandchildren & elderly people back inside the farmhouse that the homeowner is seeking to protect from any criminal advance.

    In light of the severe knife/machete wounds inflicted upon the unarmed Red Deer area rural homeowner who asked thieves to leave his property, advising homeowners to not be armed is ridiculously irresponsible. Rather than accusing rural Albertans of being dangerously violent, maybe deal with the root causes of drug addictions within Alberta. Quit enabling theor bad and dangerous behavior as it certainly isn’t helping them.

    Reply
  25. Melissa

    July 9th, 2018

    I stand behind this. There will always be someone who wants to make a mountain out of a mole hill. But I invite you to come live in my area. Where crime has increase 300%. Where I fear to leave my kids home alone for even a half hour, where criminals are coming to steal your property with weapons and no care for human life, animal life or damaging things all to steal and sell shit for their next fix, or gang. The rcmp are fed up cause the justice system lets these people out on to do it again. Slaps on the wrist everytime. Four and five failed to appears. Law or no law, people here will defend their property if these guys are found on their property. So why not make it so criminals are scared to be criminals.

    Reply
  26. rocky

    July 9th, 2018

    It’s interesting that most of the commenters who object to this piece do so on the grounds they ought to have the right to shoot “intruders,” not that you’ve got it wrong or are unfairly spinning the UCP’s policy proposals. This would suggest that you’ve got it right and are accurately describing UCP policy.

    Reply
  27. James Greenlaw

    July 9th, 2018

    Unless you can speed up police response to calls what other options do rural Albertan’s have?

    Reply
  28. David

    July 10th, 2018

    Maybe the UCP is concerned about its rural support softening and it thinks it needs an issue to shore it up. The shoot-the-intruder talk certainly appeals to the real fears and frustrations of rural voters. It might feel good but it will do little to stop rural crime, so it seems very politically motivated to me.

    The criminals are generally interested in stealing things not getting into violent confrontations. They will probably just put a bit more effort to come by when no one is home or arm themselves more.

    I suppose it has the potential to be a wedge issue pitting the god-fearing country folk against the urban criminals. Sorry to challenge the lovely stereotype but when I grew up in the country there were plenty of local criminals and not all rural folk were good. I think now the criminals move around more so they are not as local, but that does not mean most or all come from the cities either.

    It’s not an easy problem to solve but i think the government is on the right track by increasing spending on rural law enforcement. Its probably better than getting too trigger happy in the countryside. Shoot first and ask questions later is certainly likely to have tragic consequences for some innocent person, maybe some one not white enough and who didn’t realize the countryside is not so idyllic anymore.

    Reply
  29. Jimyb

    July 10th, 2018

    wow, it’s just about meeting force with force, in fact, it’s just about being able to protect yourself and your family from grievous bodily harm. The police are not able to respond in a timely matter that can save your life if in fact you perceive it is in danger. I will not allow someone who is intent on hurting my family enter into my house forcefully if I believe their intent is to hurt or cause grievous bodily harm. I will use my good judgement to decide if I percieve the individuals are going to do this i.e. they have firearms visible to me, they are kicking in my door etc. I will then have to prove that i believed this in a court of law as I will be arrested unless it is very blatant that I acted in self-defense. Increased spending will not quicken the response times in a manner that can change the outcome of individuals bent on hurting people in rural settings.

    Reply
  30. Anon

    July 10th, 2018

    I don’t understand why innocent people are on my land stealing my stuff.

    Reply
    • Death and Gravity

      July 11th, 2018

      I don’t understand why gunbuggers think the death penalty is appropriate for crimes of property, or why they demand the right to impose it as they see fit.

      Reply
  31. Davis

    July 10th, 2018

    What a stupid article.
    “Better not walk into a farm without a Kevlar vest and an assault rifle”
    Liberally exaggerate much?

    Reply
  32. Dave

    July 10th, 2018

    Castle law and stand your ground law should absolutely be law in Canada. The ability to fight to defend oneself, family and property is an inalienable human right that cannot be granted by a government. I wonder if this weak capitulating writer would feel different if his urban apartment was broken into and his property and family harmed repeated and he police didn’t show up would he feel differently?

    Reply
  33. Rocky

    July 11th, 2018

    Dave: You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.

    Reply
  34. Ann

    July 12th, 2018

    Castle doctrine needs to be brought to Canada. Look at the story of Ed Maurice. Should someone be charged for simply protecting his family? I think not. Time for rights that entrench self defense and firearms into our laws! And now!

    Reply
  35. Lenard Biscope

    July 16th, 2018

    Canada needs a castle law. It would be acceptable to start with Alberta. My family has been here 400 years and culturally we have always defended our person and our property. When you, David Olimenhaga, put forth the idea that criminals have a right to my property and protection of the legal community to take it, then we have a societal problem. You David are part of the problem not the solution.

    Reply
  36. Byron Climenhaga

    August 5th, 2018

    Cousin,

    Your loose use of “facts” is quite embarrassing. As per global news and Statistics Canada 2017 “Alberta saw a 38 per cent higher rural crime rate when compared to urban crime rates.” https://globalnews.ca/news/4349313/alberta-crime-stats-2017/

    To suggest the because the jury was all-white negates the verdict is just ignorant; both crown and defence had the right to challenge each jury member selected. You may argue the crown did a poor job of it’s case, but to suggest the jury was bias due to their skin colour shows how little you think of our society. Having just served on a jury I can tell you each member swore to judging and upholding the law based on the facts presented; we did not consider skin colour as one of the determining factors, as you seem to be doing.

    This one sided article and ability to twist facts is an embarrassment to our family name.

    Byron

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      August 5th, 2018

      Stand by to be lambasted by Farmer Climenhaga, Byron. I knew it was only a matter of time. DJC

      Reply

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