Winnipeg, MB—NDP MLAs gathered at the Manitoba Legislature today calling on the provincial government to heed the alarming increase in homicides and violent crime in Winnipeg’s inner city and north end communities.
“The news stories of the last few days have been horrifying, particularly those that involved small children,” said Nahanni Fontaine, NDP Critic for Justice and MLA for St. Johns. “The province cannot allow this kind of violent crime to continue unaddressed. Families deserve real action, including investments to address the root causes of violent crime, so that our communities and children can be safe.”
Fontaine was joined by NDP Critic for Mental Health and Addictions Bernadette Smith, MLA for Notre Dame Malaya Marcelino, MLA for The Maples Diljeet Brar and MLA for Union Station Uzoma Asagwara. In the last week alone, Winnipeg Police reported three homicides and at least two other violent attacks, some of which were on children as young as two. According to Statistics Canada’s violent-crime severity index, Winnipeg continues to have the highest violent-crime rates among major Canadian cities. The current homicide total in Winnipeg for 2019 is already at 36, a significant increase from the 22 homicides in all of 2018 or the 23 in 2017.
Fontaine and Smith also announced a community gathering in Winnipeg’s north end in which local community members can share concerns and discuss short- and long-term solutions to reduce violent crimes. Local police leadership will partner with Fontaine and Smith including Winnipeg Police representatives, AFN Regional Chief Kevin Hart, Aboriginal Youth Opportunities, Manitoba Moon Voices and local Elders.
The NDP invited Conservative Justice Minister Cliff Cullen and Health Minister Cameron Friesen to attend the gathering.
“While families are threatened, the province has stayed quiet. When our city is in crisis, the Pallister government has a responsibility to take action to keep families safe,” said Bernadette Smith. “We know the most effective solutions to violence in our communities will come from the community itself and so we invite the Conservative Minister to listen to those with the lived experience and expert knowledge that can make our city safer for all of us.”
The community gathering will be held at William Whyte School on November 6th at 6:00 p.m. All are invited to attend.