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This article was published 2/4/2015 (2273 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A 15-year-old boy has been arrested and charged in the brutal assault of a female teen early Wednesday morning.
The victim was found near the entrance to the CityPlace parkade on Hargrave Street early Wednesday morning. She was taken to hospital in critical condition.
There has been no change in her condition, police said today.
The boy is facing charges of aggravated assault and aggravated sexual assault for his alleged involvement in the incident. He has been detained at the Manitoba Youth Centre.
According to the Winnipeg Police Service, the boy and the victim were known to each other and both wards of Child and Family Services. The two were staying at the same Winnipeg hotel at the time of the attack.
On the heels of this attack, the province announced the practice of using hotels as last resort for wards of Child and Family Services will end June 1.
"We have a responsibility to protect children in our care and provide them with places of safety," Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross, who was distraught, told a hastily called news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Irvin-Ross had previously said the province would create 71 emergency foster-home spaces and hire 201 child care workers over the next year to reduce the reliance on hotels as emergency shelters.
Family Services Critic Ian Wishart said the government has promised deadlines before and not delivered.
The Free Press first investigated the CFS practice of placing children in hotels in 2006.
As a result, former Family Services Minister Gord Mackintosh pledged in November 2006 to end the practice by July 1, 2007.
"They’ve made commitments to this before and not followed up," Wishart said Thursday. "Because this particular (case) turned out so badly (Irvin-Ross) is finally taking action. Does it always have to be a crisis before this minister takes action?"
Wishart also said the province also has to put more focus on supporting children and their families in their own communities rather than remove kids from the home to be placed wherever space is available.
"The minister has been very clear that she’s having a great deal of difficulty setting up inter-agency communications," Wishart said. "I think that that’s a fundamental function of any department, that they should be able to communicate to all of their branches, not just pieces when it suits them."
The use of hotel rooms has recently jumped as the number of kids in care in Manitoba continues to soar to all-time highs.
In January, 10,673 children were in care — a jump of more than 400 compared with the previous year. It's the highest proportion of children apprehended in the country, with the vast majority of them being aboriginal.