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Alberta

Province setting up Alberta Parole Board to decide on early release for sentences less than two years

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4 minute read

From the Province of Alberta

Protecting Albertans from repeat offenders

Alberta’s government is introducing legislation to create an Alberta Parole Board to ensure our province has a fairer, faster and more responsive justice system that reflects the values of Albertans and meets the needs of our communities.

If passed, Bill 18, the Corrections (Alberta Parole Board) Amendment Act, would create the Alberta Parole Board. A provincial parole board would better protect Albertans, their loved ones and their property from repeat offenders, including parolees. The government is fulfilling a commitment to Albertans to better hold criminals responsible to protect public safety.

“Albertans expect, and deserve, a faster, fairer and more responsive justice system that holds criminals responsible. Our government’s platform committed that we would ensure repeat offenders, including parolees, are not able to re-victimize them. This is an important part of getting a fair deal for Alberta, and of getting more Alberta and less Ottawa.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“Our government has heard loud and clear that Albertans want us to do everything we can to protect them, keep our communities safe and prevent people from being victimized. By creating an Alberta Parole Board, Alberta is taking control of a key component of the administration of justice in this province. It will help end the ‘revolving door’ justice system and will be more in touch with the current realities facing law-abiding Albertans who are frustrated with a justice system that does not make them feel secure and protected.”

Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

“RMA has consistently expressed concerns regarding the impacts that repeat offenders have on police services and the justice system in rural Alberta. The creation of the Alberta Parole Board is intended to offer solutions to the current ‘catch and release’ system, contributing to increased safety for our rural communities through responsive oversight.”

Al Kemmere, president, Rural Municipalities of Alberta

The Alberta Parole Board would determine parole or early release eligibility for those serving sentences in provincial correctional facilities, which are sentences less than two years. Currently, Alberta contracts with the federal government to have the Parole Board of Canada make these determinations.

The Alberta Parole Board would also supervise provincial parolees through:

  • Community probation officers, with localized knowledge and ties to the community in which they work, who will closely monitor offenders released on parole from provincial correctional facilities.
  • Provincial correctional centre caseworkers and probation officers who will continue to do much of the same work for the Alberta Parole Board that they already do for the federal parole board.

If passed, the government plans to have the Alberta Parole Board in place and operating starting Jan. 1, 2021.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Alberta will appoint Alberta Parole Board members for provincial parole decisions.
  • Alberta would be joining Ontario and Quebec, which have had their own provincial parole boards since 1978. As with the Alberta plan, their boards make parole decisions for applicants serving a sentence of less than two years in provincial correctional facilities.

 

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Judge to decide if pastor accused of violating public-health orders will receive bail

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EDMONTON — A judge is to decide today whether to release an Alberta pastor from jail, after his lawyer argued he should be free to lead worshippers until his trial.

James Coates with GraceLife Church, west of Edmonton, has been in jail for over two weeks and is appealing his bail conditions.

Coates is charged with violating Alberta’s Public Health Act and with breaking a promise to abide by conditions of his bail release, which is a Criminal Code offence.

His lawyer, James Kitchen, told court Thursday that Coates can’t follow a bail condition that forbids him from holding services, because that would violate his conscience by disobeying God.

A prosecutor argued that the pastor’s release is a danger to the public.

The church has been holding services that officials say break public-health orders on attendance, masking and distancing.

The church has continued to hold services, even though Coates is in custody.

He is to stand trial in May.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Flames fire Geoff Ward, bring Darryl Sutter back as head coach

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CALGARY — The Calgary Flames have fired Geoff Ward and brought Darryl Sutter back as head coach.

The team made the announcement Thursday night after Ward coached the Flames to a 7-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. The Flames went 11-11-2 under Ward.

Sutter coached the Flames from 2002 to 2006, and served as the team’s general manager from 2003 to 2010.

The 62-year-old from Viking, Alta., guided Calgary to the Stanley Cup final in 2004 when the Flames lost in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Sutter coached the Los Angeles Kings from 2011 to 2017 and won Stanley Cups in both 2012 and 2014.

He has 18 seasons of head-coaching experience in the NHL with Chicago, San Jose, Calgary and Los Angeles.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021.

 

The Canadian Press

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