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WHEREAS the Province of Alberta regulates the operation of off-highway vehicles under the Traffic Safety Act, Chapter T-6, RSA 2000; and
WHEREAS the Public Lands Act authorizes a Police Officer to enforce violations contained in the Public Lands Act;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the Province to amend the Public Lands Act to provide the ability for a Peace Officer to also enforce certain violations due to off-highway vehicle use.
Municipalities receive numerous complaints concerning off-highway vehicle use on public lands. The municipality has no jurisdiction on public lands so only the police can deal with these issues. The Public Lands Act specifically identifies a Police Officer as the only entity that can enforce the provisions of the Public Lands Act. If Peace Officers were given authority to enforce certain provisions of the Public Lands Act, Fish and Wildlife and Conservation Officers could provide this service and improve control over illegal use of public lands by off-highway vehicles. The attached pictures demonstrate the soil erosion and destruction that can occur through illegal and irresponsible off-highway vehicle use on public lands. The area in question is near the Town of Devon near the Devon Bridge across the North Saskatchewan River.
The AAMDC has no current resolutions directly related to this issue. However, Resolution 3-06F deals with recreation corridors and asks the province to leave the matter of allowing recreational corridors to local municipal development processes.
See also the Fall 2008 resolutions Review of Off-Highway Vehicle Legislation, Review of Off-Highway Vehicle Safety Program and Review of Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Initiatives.
Alberta Environment has no response to this resolution at this time. **note that no contact staff person was identified by the department*
The intent of the Peace Officer Program in Alberta is to provide a supplemental level of law enforcement to communities to ensure that local needs are met. The effective use of peace officers to deal with public order and safety offences can improve service levels and allow the police service of jurisdiction to focus on priority criminal matters.
The Solicitor General and Ministry of Public Safety is open to working with Sustainable Resource Development, the AAMDC and other law enforcement agencies to assess how this off highway vehicle issue can be addressed.
In July 2009, the AAMDC received correspondence from the Solicitor General stating that as long as the statutes and locations are in accordance with their peace officer appointments, there is no reason a peace officer would be unable to enforce provincial statutes on crown land. Therefore, the AAMDC accepts in principle that the intent of this resolution as been met.