On October 7, in Justice Estimates, I asked for clarification of the responsibilities of provinces when a child is abducted from one province and taken to another.
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Just seeking to start with some information on an instance where you have a child abducted–a child abduction from Manitoba across a couple of provincial boundaries into a third province–two-year-old child, say. Who, then, jurisdictionally, is responsible for–this is a child found in a remote location in the hands of a third party, not a parent or a relative. Who decides on whether there's going to be an investigation? Who decides on whether there's going to be charges? And who decides on whether there's going to be a prosecution? Because you've got a trans-provincial issue here. It's a Manitoba child.
Mr. Cullen: Just want to seek some clarification on your situation. So in this case, in–the individual, the child, was abducted by a family member or a third party?
Mr. Gerrard: Was found with a third party, who was covering up the fact that the child was there, and it was–the child was found in the remote location.
Mr. Cullen: I really hate getting into these hypothetical type situations, you know. We certainly offer the member our briefing and talk about particular situations. But I'm advised that wherever the offense occurred, whatever jurisdiction that was in–say it was–the offense occurred in Manitoba–then the reporting would be to the police in that jurisdiction.
Then again, further to that, if it was the offense occurred in Manitoba, then it would be up to the Manitoba prosecutions branch to do the prosecution. So I'm guessing in global terms, then, it's where the offense occurred.
Mr. Gerrard: That–I'm presuming that you're saying where the abduction began, not what it–where it ended, is that correct, and would it make any difference if it was a child who was in the care of Child and Family Services versus a child that was not?
Mr. Cullen: Again, I'm hesitant to go down this road. I–you know, the member may want to come to the department and seek some advice because it's kind of, be a lot of what-ifs on this particular situation.
I guess the bottom line is, though, wherever the occurrence happened, wherever the crime happened, that is the jurisdiction that would be responsible. Clearly, if it spills into other jurisdictions the police forces would be working co-operatively. But I would, again, would be go back to the jurisdiction where the crime occurred.