Grande Prairie-MacKenzie MP Chris Warkentin says fears about upticks in crime, and the uncertainty facing the oil and gas sector are among the biggest issues he hears from County of Grande Prairie residents.

As part of his annual visit with county councillors on Monday, Warkentin says a lot of contention remains after the creation of a pair of pieces of legislation he believes will have an impact felt in the Peace Region.

“There is a shared concern both at the municipal level and the federal level where I sit the creation of Bill C-69 and 48 into legislation now,” he said. Obviously, this will significantly impact oil and gas development in our region, and significantly impact the ability for new projects to be built.”

Just weeks after Grande Prairie RCMP released information suggesting a spike in reports was the reason behind a rise in property crime stats, Warkentin says those concerns have reached Ottawa.

“We’ve seen a skyrocketing in rural crime. We’ve seen a crime increase in the City of Grande Prairie, and there are a number of different factors for that [but] we do sense and hear from the RCMP and others who are frustrated by some of the efforts they’ve undertaken to reduce it.”

Warkentin adds his response to those concerns is simple; he wants to push for criminal justice reforms to allow for laws to better deter those responsible from becoming repeat offenders.