March 2nd, 2015 – Following the Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board’s decision to allow Vince Li to move to Winnipeg, following unescorted visits in Winnipeg and in Selkirk, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake, James Bezan, issued the following statement:
“Last week’s decision made by the provincially appointed Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board to allow Vince Li who beheaded and cannibalized Tim McLean, to move to Winnipeg and be allowed to have unescorted day passes in Winnipeg and Selkirk is an insult to his victim’s family. I am very concerned about Tim McLean’s family who has yet to see justice served, and I express my condolences to the family for this callous decision. In my opinion, this decision poses a great risk to public safety.
“I am disappointed with the Province of Manitoba and this board who heard this case. The Crown has the ability to view Vince Li as a designated High Risk - Not Criminally Responsible person, but they have chosen not to. They have blatantly ignored the rights of the victim’s family, and compromised the public safety of our community in its decision. The Board did not take into consideration the family of Tim McLean, nor do they care about the public safety concerns raised by families living in Winnipeg and Selkirk.
“Our Conservative Government introduced the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act, which is protecting the public from high risk offenders who are classified as not criminally responsible, such as Vince Li. The Act makes public safety a paramount consideration for provincial Review Boards considering these cases, and will ensure that the safety of victims is always considered when decisions are made about people found not criminally responsible. Our Government is addressing the challenges of mental illness in the criminal justice system, as well as protecting and respecting the rights of victims and their families.
“The provincial decision to grant Mr. Li unescorted trips to Winnipeg, and to let him move into a Winnipeg group home is unacceptable. I call upon Manitoba's Attorney General, the Hon. James Allum, to appeal this insensitive decision immediately, and move to place Mr. Li in the designated High Risk category allotted under the new Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act. The Crown has this ability, but instead is choosing to give Mr. Li increased freedoms and the opportunity to potentially reoffend."