Justice minister apologizes to departed police-board members

Manitoba Justice Minister Heather Stefanson says she has apologized to two former members of the Winnipeg Police Board for the manner in which they learned their services were no longer required.

"I did not like the way it happened," Heather Stefanson says of notification via social media

Manitoba Justice Minister Heather Stefanson says she has apologized to two former members of the Winnipeg Police Board for the manner in which they learned their services were no longer required. 0:54

Manitoba Justice Minister Heather Stefanson says she has apologized to two former members of the Winnipeg Police Board for the manner in which they learned their services were no longer required.

In an order of council dated July 6, Brian Pallister's Progressive Conservative government revoked the police-board membership of Leslie Spillett and Angeline Ramkissoon, who were appointed by Greg Selinger's NDP government.

Spillett said Wednesday in a statement she learned of her departure from Facebook.

That was a mistake, Stefanson told CBC Thursday.

"I called Ms. Spillett and I called Ms. Ramkissoon personally. I apologized for it and I thanked them for their service on the Winnipeg Police Board and I've heard back from them and they respect that and they accepted the apology," Stefanson said.

"I didn't like the way it happened and that apology has been expressed to them."

Spillett, an indigenous inner-city activist, and retired educator Ramkissoon have been replaced by businessman Larry Licharson and Allie Szarkiewicz, a former federal Conservative and provincial Progressive Conservative candidate.

The changes effectively left the police board with one fewer indigenous representative. 

"We're a new government that was elected to take a new course," Stefanson said when asked about the change.  

"I think the new people that we have appointed to the board are going to be fantastic members of the board and (are) going to have a lot to offer."

With files from CBC's Alana Cole