October 31, 2019
WINNIPEG - Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface, says the PC Government is missing in action as violence, property crime and thefts are surging across the province.
Winnipeg is on track to have the highest numbers of murders ever in a single year, property crime is up, and thefts at Manitoba Liquor Marts and other retail outlets have turned into an epidemic.
Lamont said the PCs need to ask themselves what they are doing wrong compared to the rest of the country, because Winnipeg's crime stats are the worst in the country and going up faster than anywhere else.
Statistics Canada showed that between 2017 and 2018, the national crime index went up by 1.9%. Winnipeg's increase was five times as high at 10%. The crime index for Manitoba as a whole is up 5.7 per cent to 125.76, and violent crime is up 5.65 per cent to 169.80.
That was all last year.
The crime statistics for Winnipeg police show an even larger surge in violent crime and property crime. In July 2015, the Winnipeg Police Crime Stat reported 27,532 property crimes. It has been steadily rising but sharply increased this year to 46,585.
"We've seen PC cuts to municipalities, police forces, community programs, mental health supports, addictions, and social assistance," said Lamont. "One thing is clear - whatever the Provincial Government is doing, or perhaps not doing, is not working."
Lamont said the PC Government must step up and work with the City of Winnipeg and other jurisdictions on a mix of law enforcement and prevention programs.
Manitoba Liberals are calling for:
More municipal funding for law enforcement, especially for Community Policing for the City of Winnipeg
Provincial investments in community programs and 24/7 safe places to keep youth occupied with sports and recreation, and out of reach of the criminals who prey on vulnerable youth
Intervention programs that provide people subjected to gang violence with ways to exit gang life
"I've been at several community forums on crime. People want to hear what the plan is to reduce crime, but what they are told is that they need better locks and lights outside," said Lamont. "It is not enough to ask homeowners and businesses to build a better bunker. We need a plan to drive crime down."