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Alberta to protect citizens from civil suits who defend their land with force

Alberta is making changes to civil laws to prevent property owners from being sued if they injure someone committing a crime on their property.
Nico Johnson Montreal, QC

Alberta is making changes to the law that will prevent property owners from being sued if they injure a criminal on their property. These amendments will be introduced imminently, making Alberta’s legislation on this matter retroactive to the start of 2018, according to Global News.

This comes after the notable Edouard Maurice incident in 2018. In that case Maurice shot and wounded an intruder who had been robbing his truck on his property in south Calgary. Although charges were never pressed, the intruder is currently suing Maurice.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has long been vocal in his support for protecting property owners. After Maurice was sued by his assailant, Kenney helped fund the cost of his legal fees.

In the most recent Alberta election, rural crime was a hot topic amongst the political debate. Due to this, Kenney’s UCP promised to enact legislation aimed at combating it. These measures included reforming the role of over 400 peace officers.

The Alberta government intends to train these peace offices so that they can assist on emergency calls in rural areas.

In the criminal code, all self defence massacres must be both “proportional” and “reasonable.” Some critics are concerned that this new legislation will be misunderstood by some Alberta citizens who will then believe they can legally use excessive force on trespassers. In the United States, the “Stand your Ground” law in some states have resulted in cases of excessive force causing death.

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