Manitoba

Mayor waiting for public safety sit-down with premier and prime minister

Mayor Brian Bowman hasn't heard an answer after requesting a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Brian Pallister on public safety concerns in Winnipeg.

Pallister to meet with Prime Minister Trudeau in Ottawa Friday

Mayor Brian Bowman says "we need the help" on improving public safety in Winnipeg.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Brian Pallister haven't got back to Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman about a sit–down to discuss public safety issues.

"No, not yet," Bowman told reporters Wednesday.

Bowman wrote to the two leaders this week after several days of violence in Winnipeg. There have been 11 homicides in just over a month, bringing the year's total to 40.

On Tuesday Bowman characterized the recent wave of violence as "a difficult week for our community."

He believes the leaders of all three levels of government need to sit down and discuss a common front on issues of addictions, homelessness and mental health.

Pallister is meeting with the prime minister on Friday.

Winnipeg's mayor says he wasn't aware they were scheduled to meet when he wrote to them.

"I think that's great. I think that seeing dialogue between the premier and the prime minister is obviously positive. We have and will continue to work with ministers of both governments, but the request has still been made and I look forward to hearing from the prime minister's office and premier's office in due course," Bowman said.

Bowman acknowledged contact with the office of Bill Blair — the federal minister of border security and organized crime reduction —and anticipated he'd meet with Blair.

Winnipeg is one homicide from matching a record for the most in a single year. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

However, Bowman reiterated a meeting with his provincial and federal counterparts, Trudeau and Pallister, was still the priority.

"We are dealing right now with a situation in the city of Winnipeg that really does require the attention of the prime minister and the premier," Bowman said.

Pallister gave a noncommittal answer Tuesday to Bowman's request for a tri–level meeting of leaders.

Bowman reiterated comments he made earlier in the week, saying "public safety should not be in public football," and a "broader conversation" was needed between the leaders on addictions, mental health and families in crisis.

"We need the help," Bowman said.

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