That means in Manitoba, the onus has shifted to the NDP government to prove that every decision that looks or smells fishy is actually legitimate. We can no longer assume they are honourable members of the Legislature.
Case in point is the special treatment given to a teenaged potential killer who pleaded guilty to reckless discharge of a firearm and unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon and received the proverbial slap on the wrist Tuesday.
The official record barely hints at the crime he committed. On a Saturday night in February the then-16-year-old boy and an 18-year-old companion showed up at a party on Frances Street in Winnipeg's Centennial neighbourhood. The details of the night as published online by the Winnipeg Free Press are confusing. It appears the pair were part of "a group of people". There was an argument over their being asked to take their shoes off. The boy and his pal left---and decided to show they weren't going to be disrespected.
They came back "a short time later" carrying a sawed-off shotgun and a .22-calibre rifle. It's unclear which teen carried which gun. But they started blasting at the house, you know, just like in the movies. What fun.
Windows to the main floor living room and the upstairs were shot out, and shots "smashed" a storm door, but were stopped by a steel front door.
Police said five people were in the house at the time of the shooting (about 4:30 a.m. the Sunday morning). Nobody was hit by the gunfire.
But police weren't treating the incident lightly. The Tactical Response Team was dispatched along with general patrol cars. Detectives from the Major Crimes Unit investigated. By all indications the incident involved people "known to police", probably gang members.
A tracker dog led police to a house on Alexander Avenue where the teen gunmen were arrested and their weapons seized.
Canada has tough laws for gun crimes, including mandatory minimum sentences. Manitoba Justice Officials threw those laws in the trash along with their own policy on gun crimes.
Here's where they NDP prosecutions branch talks the talk:
The primary focus of this policy is protection of the public. Liberal access to firearms is a factor in violent crime, accidents and suicide. The effects of easy access to firearms are well documented both in Canada and in other countries. One need only remember the terrible tragedy of the Montreal Massacre to appreciate the magnitude of the violence that can result from the criminal use of firearms and the public’s perception of that violence.
On December 6, 1989, Marc Lepine shot 27 people at L’École Polytechnique in Montreal. Fourteen women were killed. Crown Attorneys must always be mindful of their responsibility to protect the public in cases where firearms are involved.This policy is intended to assist Crown Attorneys by:
a) Identifying special provisions of the Criminal Code with respect to firearms.
b) Providing statistical information regarding the criminal use of firearms.
c) Providing a summary of recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions involving firearms.
Crown Attorneys should make full use of all of these tools in order that the public may be protected.
5. PLEA NEGOTIATIONS
The resolution of firearms offences should be premised on providing the greatest possible protection to the public. By providing for mandatory, minimum sentences and minimum
consecutive sentences for certain firearms offences, Parliament has confirmed the gravity of these offences and expressed the need to deter and denounce those particular offences.
a) Where a real firearm has been used, provided there is a reasonable likelihood of conviction, Crown Attorneys must not reduce or withdraw a charge that carries a mandatory minimum sentence unless there are exceptional circumstances.
This did not happen. In other words, something fishy is going on here.
Prosecutors claimed there were special circumstances that warranted a light sentence on the widdle boy who nearly killed some or all of five people with his recklessness.
Well, they said, the kid (now 17) had no criminal record. Oh, and he had already been in jail for six months since his arrest.
So, let's see ... every criminal starts somewhere, and he started at the top---murder, except that he didn't manage to hit anyone. He tried and it was only by luck that he didn't kill or maim somebody with his shots. For that he gets a break?
And he's been in jail since he got arrested. There's only one question about that----why? Why couldn't he get bail? As a juvenile in Manitoba you have to beg and threaten to go to the United Nations to stay in custody. No juveniles are kept locked up unless they are extremely dangerous. Is he extremely dangerous? Or did he show his good side by telling police where the sawed-off shotgun came from? Yeah, right.
Court was told that at the time he was arrested he was "flirting" with gangs. In other words he was a gang associate, the terminology prosecutors always use when Hell's Angels are involved. More disturbing, the FP story said, the youth was involved in bullying younger inmates while in jail. And he demonstrated an attraction to "those more powerful than himself", whatever that means. It sounds like he hung out with jailed gang members in jail as well as out.
Nothing about the kid suggests he's a good risk to get out of jail soon. And yet the NDP prosecutions staff decided not to seek an adult sentence for this potential killer and instead to see him get the "maximum" sentence as a youth--- two years in custody and a year "of supervision in the community." In practical terms he's already eligible for release.
Why did this kid get the kid-glove treatment?
The clue lies with who his parents are. The Winnipeg Free Press said his parents "are each involved in forms of youth-related outreach." Daddy, who has already demonstrated he has no control over the kid as a teen, said ""I believe very strongly that he can turn this around."
But who are the parents? The newspaper can't name them because the law on teen criminals protects their identities. But the question demands an answer.
Why did the Crown give special treatment to a gang-loving, bullying kid facing a mandatory minimum sentence for gun crimes? Was it because of who his parents are?
Do they have any association with Deputy Minister Eric Robinson, whose views on bias against white people are well-known. Or Premier Greg Selinger? Or Jeffrey Schnoor, Deputy Minister and Deputy Attorney General for the Manitoba Department of Justice.