03/14/2012 12:47 EDT | Updated 05/13/2012 05:12 EDT

NDP says Saskatchewan needs to cost out implementation of federal crime bill

REGINA - The Opposition NDP says if the Saskatchewan government is going to support legislation, it should know the cost of implementing that law.

New Democrat Warren McCall is criticizing the government for not knowing how much it will cost the province to implement the federal government's new crime bill.

Bill C-10 increases sentences for drug and sex offences and reduces the use of conditional sentences such as house arrest.

Justice Minister Don Morgan says the changes will cost the province money, but he says it's impossible to pinpoint the figure with any degree of accuracy.

McCall says it's hard to believe the province can't even ballpark the cost.

He says Saskatchewan's jails are already overcrowded and there are concerns about public safety if the bill increases the number of people behind bars.