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Province receives Phoenix inquiry report

THE Manitoba government says it has received the final report from a public inquiry into the death of a five-year-old girl who spent much of her life in foster care.

The New Democrats say they won't release the report until early next year after a "thorough review by the government."

More than two years ago, inquiry commissioner Ted Hughes was tasked with figuring out how Phoenix Sinclair slipped through cracks in child welfare and how her death at the hands of her mother and stepfather went undiscovered for months.

Phoenix bounced in and out of foster care before she was murdered by the pair in 2005.

Kim Edwards, Phoenix's foster mother, says she hasn't seen the report and won't get to see it until it is publicly released.

The inquiry, one of the most expensive in the province's history, sat for 91 days and heard testimony from 126 witnesses.


Highway crash injures child

A young child was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries following a serious crash in the RM of St. Andrews Monday night, RCMP Sgt. Rob Lockhart said.

East St. Paul RCMP, Selkirk RCMP and fire and ambulance responded to Highway 9 at St. Andrews Road following a two-car collision shortly before 7 p.m., Lockhart said.

The young child was travelling in one of the cars with a man, Lockhart said. The other car was driven by a woman. Both drivers were taken to hospital.

The extent of their injuries is unknown.

The road was closed in both directions but is now reopened, Lockhart said.

The investigation is ongoing.


Unique housing project set for Transcona

THREE levels of government are partnering to build a unique housing project for low-income families and aging parents or relatives in care.

Government officials were in Transcona Monday to announce the 92-unit housing project to be built at 840 Ravelston Ave.

"Transcona has a vacancy rate near zero per cent in terms of rental housing," Coun. Russ Wyatt said. "This intergenerational housing project will help build a strong and healthy community."

The housing complex will be named Paul E. Martin Estates, after the former mayor of Transcona

The project, sponsored by Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corp., will consist of two wings: a four-storey wing with 47 affordable units for seniors; and a six-storey wing of 45 units for low-income families.

The project is estimated to cost $25.9 million. Here is a breakdown of the contributors: Ottawa, $7.1 million; Manitoba, $16.9 million; WHRC, $500,000; Winnipeg, donating the land, with an assessed value of $1.36 million.

Construction is expected to start in May and be completed in August 2015.


Man accused in downtown robbery

A Winnipeg man is in custody following a scary incident in the downtown area early Saturday morning.

At about 3:15 a.m., a 23-year-old woman was approached by an unknown woman looking for a cigarette. The two women proceeded to Hargrave Street, where the 23-year-old had cigarettes in her car.

Once there, the 23-year-old was confronted by an unknown man, who assaulted the woman multiple times. The keys were eventually turned over and the suspect drove off in the 2004 Toyota Corolla. The suspect also took an undisclosed amount of cash from the woman.

Winnipeg police located the vehicle on Hartford Avenue and the resulting investigation led to the arrest of Robert Bousquet, 26, Saturday evening.

Bousquet has been charged with robbery and was detained at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.


Police hold two after home invasion

An armed home invasion in Portage la Prairie over the weekend has landed two men in custody.

Just after midnight Friday, RCMP were called to a residence in the Southport community where a man broke into a home. Once inside, he demanded cash and assaulted the two occupants, both women, before leaving.

The victims, who reported non-life-threatening injuries, told police that two other men were with the suspect.

Scott Hunter, 40, and Joseph McMaster, 30, both from Portage, were arrested and are facing a number of charges. The suspects and the victims were known to each other.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 17, 2013 A6

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