August 14th, 2020

Get informed about Bill 21

By Letter to the Editor on July 21, 2020.

I am a retired police officer and court agent operating out of Medicine Hat.  I recently became aware of the proposed Alberta Administrative Penalties Act that the UCP are trying to sneak through under Bill 21. I also note that this bill has already had second reading.

With this new legislation traffic court would be gone. The police will be able to charge you with an offence under any provincial act or municipal bylaw, and you will no longer be an accused but a recipient. You will no longer receive a ticket but a ‘notice of administrative penalty.’ If you want to contest an allegation you will have seven days to request a review. You will also have to pay a prescribed fee. The review then has to be done within 21 days.  Also your matter will not be heard before a judge or traffic commissioner, who are legally trained and independent from the state, it will be heard before an ‘adjudicator’ who will be appointed by the government.    

Next, once a review is set, the officer’s notes and documents will be accepted by the adjudicator as if taken under oath. That means the adjudicator will accept these as being true. The review will not be done in person and you are not allowed to examine or cross-examine any witnesses, or the police officer.  There will now be a reverse onus and you will basically be guilty unless you can prove yourself innocent.

If you disagree with any decision made, you may appeal to the Court of Queen’s Bench. Here there are more fees and you will probably need a lawyer.

What of those with limited education, low income earners and those who barely speak English? What about those that may be targeted because of their religion, race, sexual orientation or political affiliations? 

Could our right to a fair hearing be disadvantaged? With recent events, like Black Lives Matter, I think we all know the answer to that. There is never a good time to give up our rights and give the state and police unprecedented power.

This is just another UCP tactic to cut government costs and generate revenue. I encourage all Albertans to contact their MLAs and ask if they support this new proposed legislation that takes away our access to justice and if so, to maybe consider changing their minds. 

Ken Montgomery

Medicine Hat

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One Response to “Get informed about Bill 21”

  1. Fedup Conservative says:

    What we are hearing in Edmonton from retired police officers is Kenney’s plan to kick out the RCMP and replace them with a much cheaper , poorly trained one, so that criminals from all over Canada can flock to Alberta to take advantage of their incompetence is just plain stupid. They are one of the most highly respected police forces in the world, with world wide connections everywhere and when you look at their part of history in the building of Alberta why would you want to get rid of them?

    Those of us from the world of finance think his plans to take Albertans out of the Canada Pension Plan is just plan stupid also. In a province with a small population and a small work force there is no way it would work. What workers in Albertans had better wake up and realize is that this idiotic scheme could cost them $500. to $800. per month to make it work, and Kenney isn’t telling them that.
    Don’t forget that while Alberta is in financial ruin thanks to these Reformers, they are making certain their Reform Party friends are well looked after by creating these phony Expert Panels helping them fill their pockets with taxpayers money. We haven’t forgotten how Preston Manning and Stephen Harper were both defeated at the federal level and aren’t fit to advise Albertans about anything. How much are taxpayers being charged for their services when we aren’t interested in anything they have to say? While they repeat exactly what Kenney has already told us they continue to watch him give away billions in oil royalties and increase tax breaks for their rich friends?
    Now we have Paul Hinman , another defeated Reformer in 2012, trying to be a big hero with his new Wildrose Party taking another kick at the can treating Albertans like morons while he offers up nothing more than what Kenney is doing to us. It’s just another case of these reformers having a thirst for power and it’s not about looking after the well being of the people they represent and they don’t care who gets hurt in the process.

    Apparently none of them are smart enough to understand what it means to be a true conservative, like we saw under Lougheed and Getty, who treated all Albertans with dignity and respect, including doctors, nurses and teachers, collected proper royalties, taxes and health care premiums and ran this province properly.
    While Rachel Notley praised Lougheed for what he had accomplished for Albertans she promised to gradually increase taxes and royalties back up to the Lougheed levels to get us out of this mess and Albertans weren’t smart enough to let her. Those of us from the world of finance with ties to the oil industry know she was on the right track and should have been re-elected.


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