Manitoba Crown attorneys cite low staffing levels and high workloads in complaint
Manitoba Crown attorneys have filed a grievance with the provincial government, saying that high workloads have left them strained and hard pressed to perform their duties.
The Manitoba Association of Crown Attorneys says many senior Crowns have left, leaving positions unfilled and remaining lawyers to pick up the slack.
The group also says cases loads are going up and getting more complex, and they point to a record 93 homicides in Winnipeg in the last two years.
Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen says the government has hired new people, including 10 positions related to gang-related crimes.
He says more may come, and the vacancy rate is getting close to the normal rate of six per cent.
The Crown attorneys association wants the government to recruit more lawyers and come up with a plan to retain those already in place.
“The responsibilities of Crown attorneys have been expanding for years and the resources, support and time available have not been adjusted to keep pace with the surge in our responsibilities and workloads,” association president Erika Dolcetti said in a news release Wednesday.
“We are concerned about the administration of justice in our province as well as the physical and mental well-being of our members.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2023.
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