|Warrants are issued in cases where an individual does not appear in court as required, or does not pay a fine by a specified due date as required by a provincial statute or municipal bylaw. Despite several initiatives targeting outstanding warrants in the past two years, the number of outstanding warrants in Alberta continues to increase, rising to over 171,000. A 2007 Provincial Offences Procedure Act committee review report made recommendations to change how non-motor-vehicle-related provincial and bylaw infractions with specified penalties of $1,000 or less were enforced, and stated that arrest and incarceration were not appropriate methods of enforcement for these less serious infractions.
In response, the Outstanding Warrants Process Review Working Group, consisting of representatives from Alberta Justice and Solicitor General (Public Security, Correctional Services, IT, Court Services, Criminal Justice, and JOIN Operations) and the RCMP was created to examine opportunities for improving management of outstanding warrants. A consultant was also hired to assist the working group in analyzing the volume of outstanding warrants, developing plans to address stale warrants, and improving business practices.