Manitoba Justice Minister Andrew Swan has quickly called for tighter security before Vincent Li will be allowed to have his walks. But will his voice be heard?
“Vince Li will not be allowed to leave the locked forensic unit at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre for brief outings until security measures are beefed up”, Justice Minister Andrew Swan said. Swan continued that the decision by a Criminal Code review board to allow Li to have brief escorted passes outdoors on the health centre’s grounds “will shock the conscience of Manitobans and indeed all Canadians.”
“In our view this order is contrary to the interests of public safety and seriously undermines public confidence in the Canadian system of justice,” he stated.
Swan wrote a letter to federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson outlining his concerns.
“We strongly urge that the Criminal Code of Canada should be amended to ensure that such a demonstrably unfit disposition cannot be made,” Swan said in the letter. “At a minimum, the Criminal Code should provide that public safety must be the paramount consideration before the Criminal Code Review Board.”
Swan said the Selkirk Mental Health Centre, which houses Li, will decide what security measures are needed.
While the statements made by Justice Minster Swan are appreciated they will do little to change the reality of the decision. The Supreme Court of Canada has clearly decided that the rights of Vincent Li are the only consideration before the Review Board.
There is clearly a need to amend the Criminal Code of Canada and that is the motivation of Tim’s Law. But as Justice Minister Andrew Swan is all to aware, to provide safety and security to the general public of Manitoba, and the rest of Canadians, there needs to be some major changes and renovations to the facility that Vincent Li is housed in, Selkirk Mental Health Centre (SMHC).
This will require taxpayers dollars… is Justice Minister Andrew Swan lobbying for this from his provincial counterparts?