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Manitoba justice minister to raise illegal guns, First Nations policing at national meeting

Manitoba justice minister Kelvin Goertzen. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski

Manitoba’s justice minister says he plans to make illegal guns a priority topic when meeting with his counterparts across the country next week.

Kelvin Goertzen will meet virtually with other provincial and territorial justice ministers, as well as federal justice minister David Lametti, next Tuesday through Friday.

“Going after illegal guns and gangs remains a priority for Manitoba and it is key in improving safety in our province,” said Goertzen.

“The joint Guns and Gangs Violence Action Fund (GGVAF) is an important federal-provincial partnership that we need to see renewed to help keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals and break up gang activity.”

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In addition, Goertzen said he intends to raise the topic of expansion to the First Nations and Inuit Policing Program, as well as improvements to the legal aid system.

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“We have repeatedly heard from First Nations leadership that they would like to see the First Nations Policing Program (FNIPP) expanded,” he said.

“We support that call and will be advocating for greater support from the federal government for First Nations policing to both better serve and better improve the safety on First Nations communities.”

Manitoba, he said, receives a fraction of federal funding for the program, despite having one of the largest Indigenous populations in the country.

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