Local News Briefs

Judge apologizes for insensitive comments in sexual assault case

Manitoba Justice Robert Dewar has issued a formal apology over comments he made about a sexual assault victim in a court decision in February. The Canadian Judicial Council completed its investigation of the case and stated it was not impressed with Dewar’s behaviour. The Council received a considerable number of complaints surrounding Dewar’s comments. The Winnipeg Free Press reported the council thought Dewar’s comments showed a complete lack of sensitivity towards the victims of sexual assault. Dewar is now undergoing sensitivity training.

The end of legions?

The General Monash Legion, Winnipeg’s Jewish legion, is on its last legs. The members are dwindling because many veterans are now well into their 80s and the young war veterans don’t seem to connect with legions, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. Legions have supported veterans and their communities for decades, often by helping them find housing, or helping them seek medical support. They raise money with an annual poppy drive, with funding going towards veteran causes, as well as assisting seniors with access to wheelchairs. The General Monash is planning to donate their assets to the Jewish Foundation once they close.

Less traffic enforcement leads to fewer deaths

A drop in traffic enforcement in Winnipeg is apparently leading to fewer road deaths. Eleven people have died in accidents this year, half of the number of deaths in 2010, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. That’s because street crime and community support units have been told to focus on the city’s biker war. Traffic enforcement officers also aided in policing parades, protests and street festivals throughout the year. Despite a drop in traffic enforcement, 63,000 tickets have been issued this year, more than the 58,500 tickets issued in 2010.

Man pleads guilty to the death of aboriginal artist

Gerald Abraham, 31, has been held accountable for the Jan. 1, 2010, death of Cody Starr. Starr, 23, was a well-known aboriginal artist who left Winnipeg to live on his home reserve in order to escape violence. Starr left a life of criminal activity and gang membership to express himself through art. Starr was attacked while walking down a road in Little Black River First Nation. He died of blunt force trauma, an autopsy stated. “I’m remorseful, I’m sorry. I want you to heal. I know you hate me,” Abraham told Starr’s family, the Winnipeg Free Press reported.

Provincial laws have no grounds: First Nations chief

The Canupawakpa Dakota First Nation is celebrating the opening of its controversial new smoke shop and gaming centre. However, the shop is potentially violating Manitoba tobacco and gaming laws. Rainbow Tobacco, a Mohawk company based on the Kahnawake Reserve near Montreal, produces the cigarettes being sold. The cigarettes aren’t as addictive as regular government-approved cigarettes, Chief Frank Brown told the Brandon Sun. Brown believes Manitoba law has no jurisdiction over the reserve, about 100 kilometres southwest of Brandon. The band doesn’t have official treaty status and are considered refugees within Canada, according to Brown. He hopes being prosecuted will speed up the court process to negotiate a new treaty.

Published in Volume 66, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 17, 2011)

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