New Details on Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew’s assault and drunk-driving charges

The CBC review also finds that Kinew maintains a history of drunken fights which stem back to an alcohol problem which he maintained while pursuing an economics degree.


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As new Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew continued his first day on the job on Monday, more details emerged about his 2003 arrests for assault and drunk driving than we had originally reported.

The CBC has reviewed the audio record of Kinew’s sentencing in September 2004.

“Kinew, was 22 years old when he pleaded guilty to refusing a breath demand, assault, failing to report for bail supervision, and breaching a court-ordered curfew. Under a joint Crown and defence recommendation, Kinew was fined $1,400 for all four offences.

Under a joint Crown and defence recommendation, Kinew was fined $1,400 for all four offenses.

Kinew was first arrested Feb. 24, 2003, after he was spotted late in the evening while driving his father’s 2000 Dodge Dakota erratically in the area of Hespeler Avenue and Henderson Highway.

Court heard a witness who followed Kinew for several kilometers reported he lost control of his vehicle two times after striking a guardrail and light standard on the Slaw Rebchuk bridge.

Kinew continued to drive several more kilometers with a blown-out front tire before police caught up to him at a York Avenue parkade.

Police reported Kinew as having bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, and as being unsteady on his feet. A three-quarters empty bottle of gin that was purchased that afternoon was found in the back seat.

Taken into custody, Kinew refused to provide a breath sample.”

History of Drunken Fights

The CBC review also finds that Kinew maintains a history of drunken fights which stem back to an alcohol problem which he maintained while pursuing an economics degree.

In his 2015 memoir The Reason You Walk he details one of these instances, Kinew said he had grabbed a cab with friends and “hopped out without paying.”

On page 70 of the book, he writes that “the driver caught up with us and pushed me. I turned around and shoved him back. A passing cabbie saw what was happening, stopped his taxi and jumped out to help his fellow driver. He swung and hit me in the face. I grabbed him and swung back.

“We stood in the middle of the street, arms flailing in full-on hockey fight mode. The police showed up and tackled me.”

Route to Recovery

Kinew attended sweat lodges “to purify himself” and participated in a sun dance event, during which he fasted for four days and pulled buffalo skulls by piercings cut into his body.

Kinew also began attending regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

 


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Yanky Pollak

Yanky Pollak is a young energetic activist, with a strong voice for the community. He has been involved in multiple political campaigns and has worked very closely with many political figures. He works as a freelance photographer.

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