Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
No death penalty, says Toews
Manitoba regional minister and Canadian public safety minister Vic Toews said despite the horrors of the crimes of predators like Russell Williams, Canada will not be revisiting a debate on the death penalty.
Toews made the comments this afternoon while appearing on CBC’s show Power and Politics.
Russell Williams is the former air force commander who Monday pled guilty to two charges of first degree murder, two charges of rape and 82 charges related to his theft of women’s underwear from homes in Ottawa and eastern Ontario.
His trial underway this week in Belleville, Ont., is unleashing graphic details of his crimes including the murders of Jessica Lloyd and Marie-France Comeau while he was in command of the country’s largest air force base in Trenton, Ont.
The prosecutors in the case are not playing the videos Williams made of his attacks saying the details are graphic enough without airing the actual videos.
The details, reported widely, are indeed horrific, and Toews said he is refusing to watch any coverage of the trial because he doesn’t think reporting all the details serves the public interest. He also said it "brutalizes" the victims’ families.
"I choose to exercise self censorship," he said.
Toews also told host Evan Solomon there will be no resurrection of the debate on capital punishment under his watch, noting the Supreme Court has already ruled it unconstitutional.
"I think we can manage our criminal justice system without capital punishment," Toews said.
"As far as I’m concerned that debate is done."
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About Mia Rabson
Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.
Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.
She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.
Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.
Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.
In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.
She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.
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