The city could soon be appealing or delivering victim impact statements in Quesnel’s court room. (Quesnel Cariboo Observer File Photo)

The city could soon be appealing or delivering victim impact statements in Quesnel’s court room. (Quesnel Cariboo Observer File Photo)

City of Quesnel could add voice to criminal cases

City council could begin to appeal non-prosecuted cases or deliver victim impact statements

The courtrooms of Quesnel could soon find themselves fielding appeals and victim impact statements from the municipality.

Mayor Bob Simpson told council after meeting with B.C.’s Attorney General David Eby the city was looking into appealing decisions to not prosecute certain cases, allow bail or making victim impact statements after criminals are convicted.

“We’re going to working with a law firm that works around the province deal with the court system a little bit more with civil prosecution, so there’s a place we can go to get some advice,” he said.

Simpson pointed to a recent case where a prolific offender was released the same day he was arrested in downtown Quesnel with a loaded shotgun as one the city might have weighed in on.

READ MORE: Quesnel Crime Reduction Unit seizes drugs, cash and firearm from downtown dwelling

The entire public safety and policing committee for Quesnel city council, including councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg and councillor Mitch Vik attended the meeting alongside Simpson, who called it “productive.”

Last week, Quesnel added their voice to the dozens of other municipalities which have lobbied Eby to provide stricter punishments to prolific offenders.

Simpson said while Eby pointed out many prolific offenders fall under federal and not provincial jurisdiction, he wanted Eby to lobby the federal government directly.

“The most direct action to the federal government to get changes on the federal side is through him, not us,” Simpson said.

“We don’t have a relationship with the federal government where we can use any kind of political leverage. (Eby) is hearing it from enough municipalities, enough mayors, expressing concerns, he needs to be raising it with his counterpart on the federal side.”

Simpson noted the province is planning to release a strategic review for prolific offenders in the coming month.

“They’re hearing this has become highly problematic,” Simpson said.

The public safety and policing committee will next meet on May 11.

READ MORE: Quesnel city council meets with provincial attorney general

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