PROVINCE INTRODUCES LEGISLATION THAT WOULD IMPROVE SECURITY MEASURES AT LEGISLATIVE BUILDING AND IN COURT BUILDINGS
The Manitoba government is introducing proposed legislation that would help ensure the safety and security of Manitobans at court facilities and the Legislative Building, Justice Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.
“The safety and security of Manitobans must always be our primary consideration,” said Stefanson. “Today we are introducing amendments and new legislation to help ensure provincial facilities like the Legislative Building and the courts remain safe spaces for all of us.”
The legislative security act would provide a framework for all security programs at the Legislative Building, the surrounding grounds and at Government House. Once proclaimed, security officers would be considered peace officers to better conduct their duties. In the interim, Manitoba Justice will review staffing levels, training and equipment needs to ensure security officers have the necessary resources in place to fulfil their expanded role.
Amendments to The Court Security Act would allow sheriff’s officers to more effectively deal with potential threats and aggressive individuals. The proposed changes would:
allow sheriffs to evict people from the court if they are believed to be a threat or may disrupt court operations,
specify the screening procedures that can be used including X-ray machines and physical searches, and
more clearly define what is considered a prohibited weapon or prohibited item.
The minister noted existing security policies and related legislation were reviewed by the province following a bombing at a law office in July 2015, as well as other bomb threats and incidents involving suspicious packages at various court locations.
Similar legislation allowing sheriff’s officers to more effectively respond to potential risks is currently in place in several provinces, Stefanson added.