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Manitoba Justice Minister apologizes over controversial appointment

Manitoba's Justice Minister is apologizing over a controversial appointment of a former PC politician who has come under fire for recent articles downplaying the brutality of residential schools.

Jim McCrae, a former provincial justice minister, was recently appointed to the Masters Appointment Committee, which is responsible for selecting people to work as judicial officers in the court system.

The decision came under fire due to articles McCrae wrote about residential schools. One article asserted that Indigenous parents sent their children there to learn to read and write. He's been accused of denying the brutal reality of what these schools were actually intended for.

Manitoba Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen said he had no knowledge of McCrae's views.

"Let me repeat that – I did not know of Mr. McCrae's writings," he said. "There clearly was a deficiency in the vetting process."

Goertzen said McCrae has been on government boards for around six years, but he should have been re-vetted before he was appointed to the committee.

"I suspect what happened was because he'd been on a board for a long time, that didn't happen," Goertzen said.

The Justice minister said he does apologize for any harm or hurt the appointment has caused.

"I am personally apologizing. There is responsibility and there is accountability, and if you want I will take both of those today," Goertzen said.

While he accepted the apology, NDP MLA Eric Redhead said he feels Goertzen needs to apologize to Indigenous leadership and the Indigenous community in Manitoba.

"I hope that moving forward that these issues don't rise again," Redhead said. "Apologies are one thing but action is another."

In speaking with CTV News on Monday evening, McCrae said he feels his comments have been misrepresented but said he did chose to resign from the committee. Top Stories

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