Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/3/2012 (2886 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
ONTARIO'S domestic homicide review committee scrutinized 33 cases last year in a bid to prevent more women from being killed by their husbands and boyfriends.
So far, Manitoba's death review committee has tackled just one case.
Provincial officials say Manitoba's committee is more probing than Ontario's, and they want to be sure their first review is done right. But Conservative MLA Myrna Driedger says the new committee is moving far too slowly and operates without enough transparency.
Driedger said there is no reporting mechanism that allows the public to learn about the committee's findings. She said the committee should at least release its recommendations.
"The mandate of the committee is to look at gaps and points of intervention to help prevent other deaths," said Driedger. "How are we even going to know if they are closing those gaps?"
Driedger twice proposed a private member's bill to create a domestic violence death review committee before the NDP government created one of its own in June 2010.
The committee, which includes police, prosecutors and family violence experts, will look at some of the nearly 40 "intimate partner" homicides that have occurred since 2006 once the cases have been dealt with by the courts.
The committee just finished its first case review and is about to deliver it to Justice Minister Andrew Swan. The province won't say which case it studied.
Ontario's death review committee releases an annual report, which includes fairly detailed summaries of every case — with names redacted — and a list of recommendations.
Suzanne Gervais, executive director of Manitoba Justice victims' services and chairwoman of the death review committee, said the group is still working out what, if anything, it will eventually make public.
To get people to participate and to avoid adding to a family's trauma, the province has guaranteed the privacy rights of victims and their families. The committee may not even release an annual report but it could offer a summary of its cases and findings once enough reviews have been done to offer anonymity to those involved.
In its first case review, the committee made recommendations to the justice minister, but it's up to the minister to release those recommendations.
Gervais also said the committee does a more intensive study of a case, which is why the first review has taken some time. Ontario's review process tends to focus more on paper records, while Manitoba's committee interviews people involved in the case, including family members.
"We wanted to take our time to make sure we're getting it right," said Gervais.
The committee will be doing more death reviews this year, though it's not clear which cases may get scrutinized or how many.
Domestic homicides in Manitoba
2012: At least four so far
— sources: Statistics Canada, Winnipeg Police Service, RCMP