Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Law to withhold licences over outstanding warrants a work in progress

  • Print

Legislation tabled three years ago to withhold a driver's licence and vehicle registration from offenders with outstanding arrest warrants remains a work in progress, Justice Minister Andrew Swan said Thursday.

His admission came after Progressive Conservative justice critic Kelvin Goertzen raised the matter in question period, claiming the Selinger government was dragging its heels on the public safety file. Goertzen said it appears the government has failed on a second initiative to withhold welfare payments from people with outstanding Criminal Code warrants. There are about 20,000 outstanding warrants in the province, though a person can be wanted on more than one warrant.

"This is actually a debate that's been going on for five years," Goertzen said outside the house. "I don't think taxpayers should have to fund individuals who are avoiding the law and possibly causing a danger to society."

Swan said in June 2011 the government would streamline police access to information in provincial databases to track down and apprehend individuals with outstanding warrants.

He said the access would enhance the work of a newly created joint Winnipeg police and RCMP police warrant enforcement unit.

Swan said Thursday that, to date, the seven-member unit has executed about 2,000 warrants, bringing 1,400 people into custody, but officials only have access to the province's welfare rolls to run names. Swan said about 30 people who've applied for or already get employment and income assistance (EIA) have been flagged each month since December 2012 for having an outstanding warrant.

"All but three people who've been flagged by EIA have actually gone and done exactly what we want them to do," Swan said. Under the program, people who get EIA are required to deal with outstanding warrants to prevent benefits from being cut off. Provisions are in place to minimize the impact on family members. If two or more people are in the household, there will be no cut to basic benefits for rent, utilities and health care. Eligibility is reinstated once a person confirms outstanding warrants have been cleared up.

Swan said the legislation to withhold licences will be proclaimed and enforced "in the near future," as soon as courts and Manitoba Public Insurance databases can be properly linked.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 11, 2014 B5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • KEN GIGLIOTTI  WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / July 23 2009 - 090723 - Bart Kives story - Harry Lazarenko Annual River Bank Tour - receding water from summer rains and erosion  damage by flood  and ice  during spring flooding -  Red River , Lyndale Dr. damage to tree roots , river bank damage  , high water marks after 2009 Flood - POY
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should political leaders be highly visible on the frontlines of flood fights and other natural disasters?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google