A local community group is looking to reopen the debate on a Grande Prairie Municipal Police force, and have started a petition to garner support. Organizers with the Peace Country Progressive Alliance say they’re asking anyone who feels “left out and uncomfortable” with the council’s decision to transition from RCMP to municipal police to sign.
Representative Justin Sorgaard says they are concerned with what they say is a lack of public engagement and information on the matter, and feel like they’re not alone.
“Our hope is for the community to have a chance to digest the information provided and allow us to make informed choices to do what is best for the community,” says Sorgaard.
“The hope is to get our required number of signatures and put the decision to the public vote.” I want people to feel they are actually involved in the local democratic process, and doing this guarantees they will have a voice in the matter.”
Sorgaad adds there are pros and cons to both sides of the decision, but the central reasoning and push behind the petition is the need for more meaningful public engagement.
The group will be holding a pair of public events to collect signatures for the petition, and say anyone eligible to vote in a Municipal Election for the city, over the age of 18 and a Canadian citizen is eligible to act as a witness and collect signatures.
In early March, the Grande Prairie city council voted to transition to a municipal police force a conversion the city started back in 2021.
The first signing date is April 26th at 2:30 pm, and the second is May 3rd, with both taking place at the Grande Prairie Public Library.