Category: Contribution to Civil Rights
Author: Katie May (Canada)
A series of articles
Winnipeg Free Press
“Remote life, rough justice”
Justice delayed is the reality for many northern Manitoba residents caught in an overburdened legal system starved for resources
Thompson — In the basement of a government building, a small black-and-white sign points around a corner to Manitoba’s northernmost law courts. Through an unsecured, 1970s-era lobby that serves as a public waiting room and makeshift lawyer workspace, a set of double wood doors opens into a beige, 48-seat courtroom. Here, atop a wood-panelled dais, a judge is drawing the line.
“The high price of injustice”
Manitoba spends about $1.5 million annually on an overwhelmed, weather-delayed 'flying circus' northern circuit court system that many communities don't trust.
In Manitoba's North, where 15 circuit courts dot the vast and remote geographical area, a single delay costs the province an average of $10,000.
“Justice be geography”
Northern Manitobans don’t have the same access to restorative jail alternatives available to non-violent, first-time criminal offenders in the Winnipeg region.
On the other end of the phone line, from her office in Cross Lake, Louann Flett sighs.