Manitoba Justice Minister says it would be ‘inappropriate’ to comment on Stanley verdict – Manitoba

As emotions continue to run high and political leaders at the federal level weigh in following the acquittal of a white Saskatchewan farmer in the death of a young Indigenous man, Manitoba’s Justice Minister is saying little on the subject.

On Friday, a Battleford, Sask., jury found Gerald Stanley, 56, not guilty in the 2016 shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie.

The verdict set off rallies and public outcry in many Canadian cities — including Winnipeg — and has prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and the federal ministers of Justice and Indigenous Services to make comments on the subject.

But on Monday, Manitoba Justice Minister Heather Stefanson said she would not follow suit.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Boushie family and their friends, and you know, it’s always difficult and tragic with a loss in a family and in a community. So our hearts go out to the family and the friends and the community,” Stefanson said.

“I will say though, as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Manitoba it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on this.”

On Monday, Trudeau said Canada needs to improve some aspects of its justice system.

“I’m not going to comment on the process that led to this point today, but I am going to say we have come to this point as a country far too many times,” Trudeau said while in California, finishing a four-day trip to the U.S.

“I know Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians alike know that we have to do better.”

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould echoed the sentiment in a tweet on Friday.

“I truly feel your pain and I hear all of your voices. As a country we can and must do better — I am committed to working every day to ensure justice for all Canadians,” she wrote.

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