McFadyen Vows to Stop Revolving Door by Launching Biggest Justice Overhaul Ever

Massive Crime Offensive Would:
- Add 350 Crime Fighters
- New Judges to Face Public Interview
- Give Police & Victims a Voice

Winnipeg, MB. April 30, 2007 ” In an effort to stop the revolving door of justice where criminals go in and come right back out, Manitoba PC leader Hugh McFadyen today vowed to launch one of the most significant and comprehensive overhauls of the justice system Manitoba has ever seen.

The “Restoring Justice, Reclaiming Safety” offensive to clean up crime would add 350 crime fighters “uniformed and non-uniformed” across the justice system and give police and victims” organizations a voice in the process for selecting provincial court judges.

“Manitobans are afraid, they’re angry and the’re right,” said McFadyen. “The NDP has had nearly a decade to get criminals off our streets and put them where they belong. Instead, we’re the ones suffering while criminals run free.”

Over the course of the campaign, McFadyen said he will unveil full details of his plan which is designed to restore confidence and ensure that justice will be served by getting tough on the thugs that are terrorizing our province.

“From prevention to policing, to prosecutions to courts and corrections, every link in the chain of criminal justice must be strong if we are to stand united against criminals and win back our safety,” he said.

Anchoring the PC plan is the creation of a new Department of Public Safety which would be dedicated to getting criminals off our streets.

It would be separate and distinct from the Department of Justice and Attorney General in order to allow Justice to concentrate on getting convictions and stiff sentences to ensure criminals are held accountable for their actions.

“This radical surgery is needed,” he said, “to ensure that our streets, neighbourhoods and homes belong to us, not car thieves, thugs and gangs.”

The Department of Public Safety would focus on:

- Policing
- Public safety programs
- Public security measures
- Victims services
- Correctional services
- Rehabilitative opportunities for offenders

McFadyen also said, if elected, he would listen to Manitobans who have said they are sick and tired of soft sentences, or worse, criminals being allowed to go free.

To ensure judges are more in step with society, all provincial court judge nominees would be required to face an interview process, in full public view, before they’re hired for the job. The interview, conducted publicly by a legislative committee, would test their qualifications, views on law and on the role of judges.

“Of equal importance,” he said, “representatives from both police and victims” organizations will also have a voice in the nominating process. This will ensure views from those fighting crime and those most impacted by it.

To further shine light on the courts, McFadyen said he would allow television cameras in on the action to give Manitobans a bird’s eye view of the kinds of sentences being handed out and the thinking behind the decisions.

Finally, to hurry criminals to account, McFadyen vowed to beef up the bench by:

-Hiring six new judges and two case managers
-Increasing the courts budget by 25% over the first two years he is Premier

“Some will say our plan is too tough,” he said, “but when it comes to ending the wave of crime” both petty and violent “that is sweeping Manitoba, there is no such thing as too tough.”

“After all, this is not just about restoring justice,” McFadyen added. “It’s about restoring pride and confidence in our own province as a safe, secure place to build a future. That’s why justice must be served and it is about time.”

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For more information, please contact:

Leader’s Tour – Michelle Bailey, (204) 230-2246, mbailey@pcmbelections.com
Campaign HQ – Liz Peters, (204) 230-2253, lpeters@pcmbelections.com

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