The Alberta government announced $4.4 million for a gang suppression and firearms investigation unit to help tackle gang and illegal gun violence in the province. It came a day after the government introduced legislation aimed at bulking up in its ongoing firearms feud with Ottawa.
Alberta’s Public Safety Minister, Mike Ellis, said the new legislation would give Alberta the tools it needs to deal with what it calls escalating attacks by the federal government on law-abiding Alberta gun owners. Government officials and ALERT say the funding is vital in cracking down on crime.
“Gun violence goes hand-in-hand with organized crime and gang activity. There is always a danger to innocent bystanders when our public spaces are disrupted by violence. I know this and Calgarians know this,” says Mike Ellis.
Jason Bobrowich, an inspector with the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams, says the organization was started in 2006 and told us about the work the group does in the community to curb crime.
“ALERT teams have made nearly 120 arrests, seized almost $1 billion worth of drugs and taken nearly 2,000 firearms off the streets in Alberta. Just in the past year, our teams have realized several record drug seizures in the Calgary area.”
The province says there were 126 shootings in Calgary in 2022, which is an increase of 30 per cent from the previous year.