Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Security bolstered after threat made against witnesses

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UNION officials want to beef up security at the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry after an unidentified man made a threat against social workers.

Const. Jason Michalyshen said police received a complaint regarding a threat directed toward people or a person associated with the inquiry. While police would not discuss specifics, union officials allege an unidentified man phoned police and made a threat against social workers who are witnesses at the inquiry.

In response, the inquiry commission has added an additional security guard.

The Manitoba Government and General Employees Union (MGEU), which represents social workers, has asked for an additional two sheriffs to monitor the activity outside the inquiry room and escort witnesses to and from the proceedings.

The inquiry is being held at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, which does not have a metal detector.

"My understanding is they're devastated and they're terrified," MGEU president Michelle Gawronsky said of social workers testifying at the inquiry. "They're very, very scared."

The inquiry commission released a statement saying they will proceed with the hearing schedule and are aware of the threat. Manitoba Justice, which provides security at the public hearing, has been notified.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 6, 2012 A3

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