PC leader says N.S. needs to better track offenders
70 people are wearing ankle bracelets and 13 people waiting for them
A Nova Scotia politician says one of the men accused of forcibly confining and sexually assaulting a teenage boy should have worn a tracking bracelet, but others accuse him of political fear mongering.
David James Leblanc, 47, and Wayne Alan Cunningham, 31, are facing charges of forcible confinement and sexual assault in Upper Chelsea.
Leblanc is already facing charges of making and distributing child pornography, sexual assault and sexual interference involving two boys aged two and five.
"The point is, that to keep the public safe, we need to have an ability to track violent people who are awaiting trial," said Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie.
The conditions of Leblanc's release included that he must stay away from the internet, children and the communities of Liverpool and Lequille.
Baillie says Leblanc should have been wearing a tracking bracelet.
"I wish that the judge had this tool, ankle bracelets, to enforce the conditions of bail and more importantly, to keep people safe.
But Ross Landry, Nova Scotia's Minister of Justice, said Baillie's allegations are a knee-jerk reaction.
"Mr. Baillie doesn't have his facts straight at all on this. He's trying to create fear and create an illusion that the courts aren't doing their jobs," said Landry.
"The courts are doing their jobs. I have great faith and respect in what they're doing and if the courts determine someone's to be on bracelets, they will be on bracelets."
He said there are 70 people now wearing these bracelets and 13 people waiting for them.
Walter Thompson, a prominent civil rights activist, said since Leblanc has only been charged at this point, he deserves the presumption of innocence.
"It's all very well for people, even, and for politicians to be jumping on band wagons and starting to scream and holler about people being endangered," he said.
"But until they come up with the studies and come up with the facts to justify what it is that they're saying, then I think they should restrain themselves."