City of Cold Lake supports longer sentences for drug crimes

The City of Cold Lake will write the Justice Minister in support of longer sentences for those convicted of drug crimes. Mayor Craig Copeland explains council was approached by the Mid-Sized City Mayor Caucus’ to write two letters, lobbying the provincial and federal governments separately.

“We opted only to write the one letter to the feds,” explained Mayor Copeland. “We needed more information and didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves for the second letter.”

The letter to the federal government will support increasing sentences for those convicted of crimes related to the distribution and sale of illicit drugs.

In the letter to the province, the City was requested to support that the Government of Alberta consider legislation that would allow for the lawful intervention, transportation, and detention of people addicted to drugs so that they can be brought to safe sobering facilities for up to 24 hours. Suggested by the Caucus is that transportation to these facilities be provided by the police or a municipally designated agency.

City Administration felt this step could be risky, without further research. “Allowing for the detention of members of the public addicted to drugs brings forward questions surrounding the logistics and legality of diagnosing individuals, safely and legally transporting them to a facility, where the facilities are located and if the capacity exists for treatment, and how the treatment and transportation would be funded.”

City council voted to move forward with the letter to the federal government. The City will sign a joint letter from the Mid-Sized Mayor’s Caucus addressing the increase in sentence times. Council will hold off on the letter to the provincial government.