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Kinew promising crackdown on criminals in latest campaign trail announcement

Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinew says if he becomes the next premier, he and the NDP will go after serious criminals.

Speaking at a news conference in Tuxedo Wednesday, Kinew pledged he will be tough on crime, while also helping people with addictions.

"I will never defund the police," Kinew said. "I will bring the hammer down on drug dealers and I will offer to people living with addictions a real chance to stay alive."

If he becomes premier, Kinew said an NDP government would bring in legislation forcing drug dealers and gangsters to explain how they got their large homes and expensive cars, and if they can't, they would be held accountable.

Chris Adams, an adjunct professor of political studies at the University of Manitoba, said it's no surprise that Kinew is sharing his anti-crime approach.

"South Winnipeg, other parts of Winnipeg, are battleground and he wants to convince the swing voters that if they elect the NDP, that the NDP will also be tough on crime," said Adams.

Also while speaking Wednesday, Kinew accused the Progressive Conservatives of using divisive messaging on crime, hinting race is playing a part in his opponent's strategy.

Kinew has been open about his previous run-ins with the law two decades ago – he's since been pardoned for assault and impaired driving-related convictions.

He said the Conservatives are talking a lot about crime and Kinew's past to create divisions by deflecting from their failures on solving crime-related issues and making it about him instead.

"It's at least partially about the fact that I'm somebody who sometimes wears my hair in a braid," said Kinew.

It's an allegation the PC's are denying.

"The only person in this campaign so far I've heard raise the issue of race is Wab Kinew," said Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen.

Goertzen noted his party is simply raising Kinew and the NDP's track record on crime. They have not supported several initiatives, like calling for bail reform.

"I know as we get closer to an election, he's going to want people to forget about that, we're not going to let them forget about that."

Kinew is expected to make more specific announcements on his crime policies tomorrow. Top Stories

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