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Mayoral candidates trade accusations on North End crime

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WINNIPEG - Mayoral candidates are trading accusations in the wake of the Saturday shooting spree that killed two and injured a third person in the North End.

At a press conference at his campaign headquarters, Mayor Sam Katz spoke to reporters about his record on crime and justice issues during his six years as mayor.

Clad in a Winnipeg Police Association jacket, Katz repeated the city’s success in reducing auto-theft rates. He also repeated his pledge to hire 58 more police officers.

The mayor also claimed mayoral challenger Judy Wasylycia-Leis was never interested in crime when she was the NDP MP for Winnipeg North.

"She never asked about crime in any, way, shape or form," said Katz, claiming Wasylycia-Leis never called him or Winnipeg Police Chief Keith McCaskill about crime in the North End.

Wasylycia-Leis called Katz’s statement "patently false" and said Katz is actually the one who refused to respond to correspondence about crime.

She said she attended "numerous gatherings" with the police chief, especially in the William Whyte area. She then accused Katz of playing politics on a day when people are grieving in the North End.

Earlier in the day, Wasylycia-Les attended McCaskill’s media briefing outside the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre. She said she too wants to see "more boots on the street," but has not quantified a number of police officers during this campaign.

A vigil for the shooting victims will be held at 5:30 p.m. near the corner of Robinson Street and Dufferin Avenue, she said.

She said she has spent the past few days in the neighbourhood and insisted she is not playing politics herself. Katz said he too spent time in the neighbourhood.

Violence can take place anywhere in Winnipeg, Katz said.

History

Updated on Monday, October 25, 2010 at 3:31 PM CDT: Updates with information from both candidates.

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