Two and a half weeks ago some skeletons that NDP leadership candidate Wab Kinew had hidden away at the bottom of his closet lurched back to life.
Kinew had built a political career out of being the holier-than-thou candidate in the holier-than-thou Party. He turned his criminal record of drunk driving and assaults in his Twenties into an asset by claiming that he had seen the light, had reformed, and was now, in his Thirties, a paragon of virtue starting with taking ownership and responsibility for all his transgressions.
Look, he said, how transparent I am with my past faults. How can you doubt my sincerity?
But Kinew had to do some fancy tapdancing in late August when it was revealed that he hadn't been completely honest about his run-ins with the law. It turned out that he had concealed a pair of arrests for domestic violence.
Violence against women, especially aboriginal women, is the third rail of the NDP. Touch it and instant political death. Just ask Maples MLA Mohinder Saran who was turfed from the already pathetically small NDP caucus on mere allegations of sexual harassment.
But the NDP caucus, and the mainstream media, gave Wab a pass on his own history of actual criminal charges of domestic assault.
Kinew, himself, went on the attack. There were no apologies this time.
"There was no substance to the allegations. It was investigated. It was dropped," he said.
to support conviction, the case will proceed to trial as soon as possible." read the policy directive.
"...Where a victim of domestic abuse seeks help, police agencies throughout the province are expected by the Attorney General to respond appropriately by treating the situation as a crime and not simply as a "family dispute."
"...Police officers may, and under this policy will be expected to, lay criminal charges where there are reasonable grounds to believe an offence under the Criminal Code or any other law has been committed. That is not to say that charges should be laid automatically, whether or not there is evidence to support criminal proceedings: the
Criminal Code requires that, before laying charges, a peace officer must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds, based on the available evidence, to do so. Where such grounds do exist, however, charges should be laid. "
This appears to be in direct contradiction of Kinew's statement
It appears the police did investigate and did determine that based on the evidence there was reason to believe a crime was committed.
To say the charges were dropped is problematic.
Which was the case in Queen v. Kinew?
Wab says he doesn't want to discuss the matter any more to protect the privacy of the complainant.
Okay, we don't need the name of the woman.
The NDP is in the position of possibly electing an alleged woman-beater as the leader of their party. The delegates need more information on his secret past.
Two things need to happen immediately:
A) Wab Kinew must reveal the circumstances of the charges against him.
B) The New Democratic Party must get a signed statement from the complainant in which she either admits she lied to police about the assaults as Kinew says she did, or she stands by her complaints against him. The Party should have no preference to what she says.
But hearing from the woman is vital in the court of public opinion.