Liberals shrugging off concerns about rural crime, opposition MPs charge


OTTAWA — Conservative MPs say a Liberal-dominated committee’s half-hearted report on the burgeoning problem of rural crime is an insult to Canadians.

New Democrat MPs on the House of Commons public-safety committee say the report fails to take into account the troubling issues highlighted by witnesses.

The majority report of the committee, recently tabled in the Commons, acknowledges that crime in rural areas is a growing concern to people who live outside Canada’s cities.

It encourages provinces to spend more on emergency-response services and dispatch centres, and says the RCMP should look for ways to partner with other police agencies.

That falls far short for Conservative members of the committee, who filed their own report calling for tougher action against repeat offenders, greater use of electronic monitoring for those on release and clearer self-defence laws.

The New Democrats make their own suggestions, including better training of young Mounties assigned to rural communities and universal access to 911 emergency service everywhere in Canada in both official languages.


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