'Putting fear into people': B.C. city council wants to track criminals with GPS implant

A B.C. community is taking a page out of dystopian science fiction novels with a new approach to battling crime: track criminals using microchips.

See Full Article

Williams Lake city council voted unanimously on Tuesday on a proposal to inject high-risk offenders with a GPS tracking device.

"Whether they’re walking downtown, whether they’re having a bath, whether they’re having dinner, we don’t care. We want to know where they are and what they’re doing," Williams Lake Coun. Scott Nelson, who introduced the motion, told CTV Vancouver.

Williams Lake has ranked among the top municipalities on Statistics Canada's Crime Severity Index rankings in recent years.

In the most recent ranking, the city was ranked top of the index for violent crime severity for cities with a population greater than 10,000.

The proposal came after Williams Lake RCMP released a video on Monday showing a man walking up to a teen at a skate park, pulling a gun out and taking his bike.

"Prolific offenders are in every community across British Columbia, and the biggest problem we’ve got in Williams Lake is that they’re putting fear into people," Nelson said.

The proposal has civil liberties advocates worried but they don't expect the proposal to go very far.

"It’s not constitutional," said Micheal Vonn, the policy director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. "It would be challenged very, very quickly, I can assure you.

"Certainly the notion of injecting it into anybody's body is, as I say, not anything that a Canadian court is going to take kindly to."

However, Vonn says the reasoning behind the plan should generate discussion.

She says the fact councillors' are so concerned by crime they're proposing a tracking system shows the community has reached the peak of its frustration and anger.

Despite Nelson and the rest of the Williams Lake council's hopes, the proposed technology doesn't appear to exist.

Radio frequency implants, a type of microchips, have been implanted in pets but they only contain data, not the ability to provide a tracking ability.

Biohackers have recently been able to install microchips in humans, roughly the size of two grains of rice, but they only contain personal identification details.

The B.C. government says it's unaware of the technology desperately wanted by city officials.

"I am not familiar with the particular technology that is being referred to," Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris told CTV News, adding that the province is working on a community safety pilot project in the area.

B.C. has recently approved tracking criminals with the use of cumbersome electronic monitoring bracelets and even then, they're only allowed for rare cases.

The city is forwarding its motion to the Union of B.C. Municipalities and Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty.

With a report from CTV Vancouver



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 'It's a disaster': Trust in long-term care at an all-time low

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and brought to light issues with Canada's long-term care facilities, wreaking havoc on residents and exposing poor conditions and care, leaving some seniors actively looking at living at home longer. Source
  • FBI arrests 2, including Stone bodyguard, in Capitol riot

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Two men wanted in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol were arrested over the weekend, including one who reportedly served as a bodyguard to former President Donald Trump's longtime political confidant Roger Stone, federal authorities said Monday. Source
  • German lawmaker from Merkel's conservatives quits over face mask scandal

    World News CTV News
    Tracking every case of COVID-19 in Canada Coronavirus vaccine tracker: How many people in Canada have received shots? Source
  • Biden to mark one year of COVID-19 shutdown in primetime address Thursday

    World News CTV News
    U.S. President Joe Biden will deliver his first primetime address this Thursday, commemorating the milestone of one year since the global pandemic coronavirus shut down much of the nation. "The President will deliver his first primetime address to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown on Thursday. Source
  • Alberta Appeal Court orders 3rd trial for parents in toddler's death

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- Alberta's top court has ordered a third trial for a couple originally convicted then found not guilty in the death of their ill son. The Alberta Court of Appeal has granted a request by the Crown to overturn the 2019 acquittal of David and Collet Stephan. Source
  • U.S., EU, N.Z. leaders warn pandemic risks women's rights

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS, BELGIUM -- The coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic and political turmoil have sharpened the challenges facing women as they demand equal rights, three of the world's most influential female leaders warned Monday. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen addressed the European Parliament on International Women's Day. Source
  • Ontario NDP wants paid time off for workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario’s official opposition is calling on the government to allow workers to take three consecutive paid hours off work in order to get a COVID-19 vaccine. “I would ask the premier and the government to make it easy for folks, to take the burden off, to make sure people don’t have to worry about losing pay when they book their appointment to get vaccinated,” NDP leader Andrea Horwath said at Question Period on Monday. Source
  • New Brunswick reports 5 new cases of COVID-19 Monday; active cases increase to 36

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- New Brunswick Public Health is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Four previously reported cases are now considered recovered, as the number of active cases in the province increases to 36. Source
  • Price of gas reaches 151.9 cents per litre at some stations in Vancouver

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Temporary relief drivers saw earlier in the pandemic may be a thing of the past as gas prices continue to climb in Metro Vancouver. On Monday morning, some stations were charging 151.9 cents per litre at pumps in the city. Source
  • Ethics committee summons Kielburger brothers to testify after they duck invitation

    Canada News CBC News
    The House of Commons ethics committee unanimously passed a motion today to compel the men behind WE Charity to appear before MPs to explain their role in the botched summer student grants program and answer questions about allegations of donor fraud. Source