December 18, 2019
WINNIPEG - Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface Dougald Lamont said Brian Pallister and the PC Government haven't been taking justice and community safety seriously in Manitoba.
Winnipeg recently broke a grim record, marking a 42nd homicide, the most ever in a single year.
"The PC Government is responsible for the administration of justice in Manitoba and they aren't keeping people safe," said Lamont. "The Pallister Government's failures on crime run the gamut - they are failing on prevention and they are failing on enforcement as well."
Lamont said it is clear the courts are failing to keep the public safe by not enforcing convictions and court orders, and by releasing violent criminal offenders who go on to commit crimes. Lamont added the PC Government is also failing to address the root causes of crime and implement prevention strategies.
In the case of 28-year-old Norma Helen Andrews, the person accused of her murder on Sept 21, 2019 had been charged earlier in the year with attacking another woman with a machete.
In the heartbreaking case of the murder of 3-year-old Hunter Straight-Smith, the person accused of his murder had multiple assault charges from July 20, as well as previous assault convictions from January 2018 and December 2017.
In some cases of property crimes, the accused have dozens of charges - many related to previous offences and convictions, including failing to comply with existing court orders.
According to information analyzed by James Jewell, based on Winnipeg Police Service Press releases:
-In nine (9) homicide cases, the accused killers were also charged with failing to comply with conditions of a recognizance, fail to comply with probation orders
-In a couple of cases, accused killers were charged with possession of firearms, contrary to court orders
-In one case, the accused killer had a prior conviction for manslaughter
"This is a breakdown, across the board, from prevention through arrests to enforcement. It is unique to Manitoba because Justice has not been a priority for this government," said Lamont. "For two years, the PCs have responded to flares and warning signs about rising crime with denial and half-hearted promises. It' time to get serious."