Manitoba More Dangerous Under the Pallister Government: Swan

Wrong priorities put Manitobans at risk

July 24, 2017

Crime is on the rise in Manitoba. Today’s Statistics Canada report, “Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2016”, shows that crime severity in Manitoba rose eight per cent in the last year, the second-highest increase in Canada.

Even worse, the City of Winnipeg suffered the largest increase in crime in Canada (16 per cent), and a shocking increase in violent crime severity (20 per cent). Much of the increase is attributed to more robberies and break-and-enters.

“Premier Pallister gave his minister of justice a mandate to ignore the right of Manitobans to be safe in their homes and communities,” said NDP Justice Critic Andrew Swan. “While the minister of justice has spent her time on the premier’s priorities, such as restricting citizens’ right to protest at the Legislature and tackling non-existent voter fraud, criminal activity has soared and placed all of us at risk.”

Swan called on the minister of justice to act immediately to reverse this increase in crime, including the following:

  • Working with, and not against, law enforcement in Manitoba to ensure they have the resources and tools they need to prevent and stop crime, including the reinstatement of the Manitoba Integrated Organized Crime Task Force;

  • Renewed action to make Manitobans aware of the danger of harmful drugs, and suppress both the supply of and demand for these drugs;

  • Expanding, and not freezing, highly successful problem solving courts, like Winnipeg’s Drug Treatment Court and Mental Health Court, to make them accessible to more people across the province;

  • Expanding, and not slashing, the opportunities for restorative justice to find better longlasting solutions to criminal behaviour and more satisfaction for the victims of crime;

  • Clear and unambiguous statements of support, and ongoing consistent and timely funding, for community organizations supported by Neighbourhoods Alive! which work on local safety initiatives;

  • Abandoning an ideological fascination with Social Impact Bonds, and instead supporting the ideas of the community and those who work in the justice system about how to reduce criminal behaviour and get better outcomes.

“Our government worked with police, schools, communities and other levels of government to cut crime in half in our time in office,” said Swan. “Reducing crime across Manitoba requires active and intelligent involvement by the provincial government, and Premier Pallister’s long-distance austerity approach to safety is failing miserably.”