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July 25, 2023
Technology will Enable Access to Remote Education, Training, Crises Counseling, Victim Services and Virtual Court Appearances: Goertzen
The Manitoba government is providing $100,000 through the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund (CPF) to support the Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police to collaborate with Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) in connecting remote First Nations communities with high-speed internet access, Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.
“We are using the latest satellite technology to bring efficiencies and accessibility to the justice system in northern Manitoba,” said Goertzen. “Through CPF funding, we are able to connect remote MKO residents to virtual court appearances, victims’ services, crisis responders, MMIWG teams and other community supports. We are also able to provide the broader community with accessibility and connectivity to education, training and programming that is essential to building long-term approaches to reducing crime and promoting public safety.”
Starlink technology will also connect residents and vulnerable youth to access the MKO Youth Healing Lodge services remotely, allowing people experiencing and healing from tragic events to better access the supports they need.
“As a result of our partnerships with Justice Canada and Manitoba Justice, the MKO communities will greatly benefit from this initiative,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak. “There has always been a huge need in our northern First Nations for reliable and adequate internet access. There will be opportunities for everything from virtual medical service consultation to court procedures as well as education and training. This is a true step in the direction of working together and addressing recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. The exciting thing about this initiative is that the setup time to provide an active link and put it in service isn’t long. We can see the benefits in days, not years.”
In addition, the technology will allow for increased access to virtual court appearances making access to the justice system easier for those in the communities. First Nations safety officers will also use the systems to connect with other policing agencies, transfer information, evidence and intelligence electronically to justice system participants more efficiently.
“The Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police is extremely excited to be a part of this initiative,” said Gord Schumacher, executive director, MACP. “Having reliable access to the internet in isolated communities will not only support education and training but provide access to Justice and enhance public safety.”
Starlink systems will be place in eight MKO First Nations communities and youth centre, which includes:
In Manitoba, cash and proceeds from the sale of forfeited property are deposited into the Criminal Property Forfeiture (CPF) Fund, which is used to:
Since 2011, more than $26 million has been distributed to law enforcement agencies and community initiatives through the CPF funds.
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