News Briefs

Province’s “Bonnie and Clyde” sued by MPI

Manitoba Public Insurance has recently filed a $110,000 lawsuit against a 19-year-old man and his 17-year-old girlfriend for their prolific car-related crime spree in the past few years, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

Dubbed “Bonnie and Clyde” by justice officials, the former couple made a name for themselves taunting police, drinking and driving, boasting to their friends and celebrating their accomplishments in going so far as to document their own crimes.

In addition to a $53,000 lawsuit launched earlier this year, MPI hopes this sort of financial punishment will put a cap on their activities.

Stemming from their spree of crimes last fall, both have separately pleaded guilty to multiple counts of auto theft and mischief, plus possession of stolen property and dangerous driving stemming from several high-speed chases with police in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, which were subsequently aborted because of the risk to the public.

While the male received a five-year jail sentence, the under-aged female received an eight-month sentence in addition to the eight months she had already served in custody. Neither will be able to receive driver’s licences while a balance is owing on these lawsuits.

Funding announced for Stony Mountain and Rockwood

Ottawa recently announced that $45 million will be spent to keep more criminals behind bars in Manitoba.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews stated that “these investments will help ensure dangerous criminals serve a sentence that reflects the severity of their crime,” reported the Winnipeg Sun.

Such investments would add a new 96-bed unit to Stony Mountain, to be designed for maximum-security inmates. Rockwood, a minimum security facility near Stony, would also receive updates, repairs and more space with the potential to house 50 more inmates.

The announcements came amidst protests from Manitoba’s prison guard union, who demanded a direct meeting with Toews to express their concerns over the use of the funding.

A number of guards were present during the announcement at Stony Mountain, protesting the deplorable conditions they are forced to work in as well as the over-crowded conditions inmates currently have to live

At press time, the union stated that calls for meetings with the minister have gone unanswered, reported Global Winnipeg.

2010 marks 101st Santa Claus Parade

Crowds estimated between 70,000 and 80,000 came out last Saturday to celebrate the city’s 101st Santa Claus Parade.

In recent years the number of floats and marching entries usually comes in at around 75, but this year there were exactly 101 different entries, a fitting statistic given the parade’s 101st anniversary.

The parade began at 5 p.m., but crowds came as early as 4 p.m. to get select viewing spots. Santa himself rolled in at around 6:30 p.m., bringing up the rear in his grand exit along the 16-block route of the parade.

Activities went on during the parade at The Forks, including an open house at Citytv studios and free acting workshops at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People.

After the parade finished, throngs of people headed to The Forks to enjoy a live DJ and entertainment, capping off the festivities at 7:30 p.m. with a fireworks display.