Manitoba

Another inmate dies after stint at Winnipeg Remand Centre

Manitoba Corrections is conducting an internal review after a 53-year-old man died on September 6 while in custody.

Manitoba Corrections is conducting an internal review after a 53-year-old man died in September

Another inmate has died after a stint in the Winnipeg Remand Centre — the fifth such case since March. 1:43

Another inmate has died after a stint in the Winnipeg Remand Centre — the fifth such case since March.

Robert McAdam, 53, was in the Winnipeg Remand Centre on Sept. 4 of this year after being picked up for breaching a court order. Later the same day, he was found unresponsive and taken to the Health Sciences Centre, said Sheila McAdam, Robert's sister.

Robert McAdam died Sept. 6, 2016 in hospital. He was in the Winnipeg Remand Centre where he was found unresponsive. (Family obituary photo/Submitted)
Robert died two days later on Sept. 6 and his sister is questioning exactly what happened to him and whether the holding jail was the right place for him. Sheila said a nurse told her he drank a substance.

"They said because he drank something and they're pretty sure it was some kind of antifreeze," she said, wondering if he should have been taken to hospital first.

Another sister, Colleen Hogue, said her siblings found a bottle of antifreeze in Robert's home and a cup with some still in it.

McAdam said she doesn't have a lot of details about how he died or what happened leading up to his death, including how long he was unconscious.

Sheila hadn't spoken to her brother in two months was surprised to get a call on Sept. 4 that Robert was in hospital in critical condition. He had been struggling with alcoholism and had been taken to the hospital in the past for threatening to take his own life. Hogue said the family has reason to believe Robert drank the antifreeze to take his own life. She said he had done that once before.

"It broke my heart," she said about seeing him in the hospital.  "He looked like he was sleeping, but very peacefully, but he had a big tube coming out of his mouth and bags hanging off of him."

A spokesperson for Manitoba Justice confirms a man in custody at the Winnipeg Remand Centre died in hospital on September 6. 

CBC news has learned of four other deaths in the remand since March. This latest brings the total to five.  

A provincial spokesperson said Manitoba Corrections is conducting an internal review and McAdam's death was reported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The following statement was issued Friday on behalf of Heather Stefanson, Manitoba's minister of justice.

"Every one of these deaths is a tragedy for the family and loved ones of the deceased, as well as the staff of the Winnipeg Remand Centre.

"While individual reviews follow each individual death, the clustering of these events requires a broader review and assessment that may not be captured in individual reviews where each is looked at in the context of its own circumstance.

"I have asked the Community Safety Division to conduct a systematic assessment to determine if there are common themes to these tragic events that need to be addressed."

About the Author

Jillian Taylor

CBC Reporter

Jillian Taylor has been with CBC Manitoba since 2012 and has been reporting for a decade. She was born and raised in Manitoba and is a member of the Fisher River Cree Nation. In 2014, she was awarded the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association's travel bursary, which took her to Australia to work with Indigenous journalists. Find her on Twitter: @JillianLTaylor