News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

August 25, 2022

Statement From Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen Addressing Knife-Related Violent Crime

The issue of violent crime continues to be a concern to residents of Winnipeg and many other communities in Manitoba. Our government has taken steps to help curb the use of guns in the commission of crimes, but we know that in many acts of violence knives are the primary weapon.

Too often, those that use knives as weapons have a previous violent history and at times are on bail awaiting trial on offences when they are alleged to have committed another violent crime. This is frustrating for Manitobans and devastating for those who are victimized.

The federal government has the responsibility, through the Criminal Code, for setting bail standards by which judges make their decisions.

Currently, under subsection 515(6) of the Criminal Code, when an accused has been charged with an offence using a firearm it is more difficult to obtain bail.

Today, I have written federal Justice Minister David Lametti and asked that he consider changes to the Criminal Code that would add knives to the same provision to make it more difficult for an accused violent offender who has used a knife in the commission of a crime to obtain bail.

Given the prevalence of violent crimes committed with knives, both in Manitoba and Canada, this is an important change in the interest of public safety.

The Manitoba government will be offering further suggestions related to the Criminal Code, in the interests of improving public safety, in the weeks ahead.

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