The following bulletin was issued by the Winnipeg Police Service on October 26:
During October 2023, the Winnipeg Police Service responded to several reports of suspected hate-motivated crimes. Reports have included incidents of property damage and, most recently, a shooting within a residential neighbourhood.
There are four offences in the Criminal Code of Canada that specifically pertain to hate; they fall under the Hate-Propaganda section, and they are as follows:
1) Advocating Genocide
2) Public Incitement of Hatred
3) Wilful Promotion of Hatred
4) Mischief relating to religious property, educational institutions, etc.
Where a criminal code offence has been committed and there is evidence it was motivated by hate or bias towards an identifiable group (e.g. race, nationality, ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, etc.), the court may impose a greater punishment.
Investigations involving these crimes can be complex, and it’s important the public understand this complicated and sometimes confusing topic.
Mischief to Property C23-246306 R23-53232 R23-53235 C23-248394
Between October 7 and 8, 2023, the Winnipeg Police Service received multiple reports of eggs thrown at the doors of residences in the city’s southwest area.
Suspicious Circumstances C23-248394
On October 12, 2023, officers responded to a parking lot in the 100 block of Harrow Street for the report of a vandalized religious item. The damaged item was unattended when officers arrived.
Mischief to Property C23-30792
On October 13, 2023, a report was received regarding graffiti spray painted on a shed in close proximity to a school and place of worship in the River Heights area. Area residents observed the concerning graffiti.
Suspicious Activity R23-54375 R23-55572 C23-254439 R23-56162
Between October 15 and October 24, 2023, multiple racially motivated social media posts were reported to police.
Shooting Investigation C23-256547
On October 22, 2023, at approximately 4:30 a.m., residents of a River Heights neighbourhood heard the smashing of the front window of their home. It became apparent that the window had been shot out, and police were contacted. None of the residents were injured, and no suspect information is available at this time.
The residence had a visible religious symbol near the home’s front door, and the crime is being investigated as suspected hate-motivated.
The Major Crimes Unit’s Hate Crimes investigators are continuing this investigation.
Anyone with information regarding this incident or wishing to speak to an investigator in Major Crimes/Hate Crimes is asked to call 204-986-6219. If you require immediate police assistance, call 911.
Hate crimes have no place in our community.
We remain committed to investigating suspected hate-motivated crimes under the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada.
Reports can be made by calling:
• 9-1-1 in an emergency
• 204-986-6222 for non-emergencies
• (204) 786-8477 to leave an anonymous tip through Winnipeg Crime Stoppers
From an investigative perspective, any reports of suspicious behaviour, mischief, or acts of violence which may be hate-related will be immediately flagged for our Major Crimes Unit to investigate.
The Winnipeg Police Service continues to be vigilant when responding to any calls for Service or critical incidents concerning this ongoing conflict. The conflict may be occurring on the other side of the world; however, its impact is far-reaching.
A Message Regarding Upcoming Demonstrations
Counter-protests produce conditions that significantly impact the risk to the community. It is causing increased tension between the parties, potential for acts of violence and mischief, and a significant demand on our resources.
The Winnipeg Police Service is not asking the community to refrain from peaceful, lawful assembly. We ask that those who have countering views to a planned event do so at a different time and location.
Winnipeg Jewish Theatre to open season with world premiere of “Pals”
By BERNIE BELLAN The opening show of Winnipeg Jewish Theatre’s 2023-24 season promises to be a clever and poignant take on relationships between men and women, when “Pals” makes its world premiere on November 9 in the Berney Theatre, running until November 19.
“Pals” is the third two-person show created by the team of Diane Flacks and Richard Greenblatt. Interestingly, when I spoke with Flacks and Greenblatt while they took a break from rehearsing the play in Toronto, they told me that their previous two two-person plays also had one word titles – with four letters in both: “Sibs” and “Care.”
“Pals” is the story of two friends, told over a 25-year time period. Their friendship survives many tribulations, including both characters entering and exiting many other relationships. The play uncovers the underlying tensions that permeate all friendships.
“Pals” opens with the two characters meeting for the first time. I asked Diane and Richard whether the notion of their having sex ever enters into the plot, but Richard was quick to exclaim, “We don’t have sex.”
Diane also noted that, in the case of her character, she is married to another woman. (Diane is a lesbian in real life.)
The fact that the characters maintain a friendship though becomes a source of friction within their respective relationships. It raises the question: Can you have an intimate, albeit platonic, relationship, with a member of the opposite sex all the while you’re in a physical relationship with someone else?
I asked whether the characters in “Pals” are Jewish (which both Diane and Richard are), and the answer was “yes.”
Both Diane and Richard have had past associations with the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre. Richard’s goes back a very long time – when he directed the critically acclaimed “League of Nathans” in 1995.
Diane Flacks appeared in a one-night performance of a show in 2021 called “25 Questions for a Jewish Mother,” which was a part of that year’s Tarbut festival. There were no in-person events that year, due to Covid, but “Jewish Mother” was available on Zoom and had a huge audience.
In addition to writing for the stage, Diane Flacks has written for TV, including Working the Engels, Baroness Von Sketch Show, Young Drunk Punk, PR, and The Broad Side.
Richard Greenblatt has performed in theatres across Canada and abroad, as well as in feature films, television and radio. He co-wrote 2 Pianos 4 Hands, which played on five continents and in over 150 cities since it opened in 1996.
Pals is directed by the internationally acclaimed director Jillian Keiley. More information, tickets and 5-show subscriptions can be found at: www.wjt.ca. You can also reach WJT by phone at (204) 477-7478.
To watch a preview video from Pals, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2W0VmHHFbA
Simkin Centre introduces Friday afternoon Shabbat services – open to all
By BERNIE BELLAN (Posted Oct. 31) The Simkin Centre held its first ever Friday afternoon Erev Shabbat service this past Friday (Oct. 27), led by Rabbi Matthew Leibl.
There were more than 30 residents in attendance, along with various other outside guests. The service was approximately 45 minutes long and was filled with stories and songs associated with Friday evening Shabbats – some from Rabbi Leibl’s own childhood and some from more recent years.
The Friday afternoon Erev Shabbat services are now to become a regular features at the Simkin Centre and are open to anyone to attend.
To watch a short clip of Rabbi Leibl introducing his first Friday afternoon service click https://youtu.be/hLSrV18K58o
The complete text of MP Marty Morantz’s speech at the community vigil for Israel on October 10
Tonight we are all Israelis!
Conservatives stand with Israel.
Pierre Poilievre stands with Israel.
On Saturday we woke up to unspeakable images.
We must stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel as it defends itself from these criminal and barbarous acts.
On Shabbat, Hamas brutally invaded Israel, invaded homes, killing hundreds, taking hostage hundreds.
More Jews were killed in Saturday’s attack than in any single day since the Holocaust.
Some 1500 human beings killed in a single day would be like 6000 Canadians being murdered in a single attack.
They were children, babies, men, women.
They were young people just out listening to music at a dance party.
This was an unprecedented brutal attack.
As we speak Hamas is threatening to execute innocent hostages.
This outrage cannot, must not stand.
Don’t let anyone tell you Hamas is the legitimate voice of the Palestinian people. It is not a government.
They are a genocidal murderous and evil death cult and they must be defeated.
But friends, we have seen evil before.
Jews have been persecuted for millennia, but we have survived.
Conservatives unequivocally condemn the invasion of Israel by Hamas terrorists and the sadistic violence that Hamas has carried out against innocent civilians.
Now is the time for moral clarity. There is no moral equivalency between democratic Israel and the butchers of Hamas.
There is no response, no matter how strong, that would be disproportionate to the crimes Hamas has committed.
Israel has the right to defend itself against these attacks and respond against the attackers – as any other country would.
Theodore Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, said, “If you will it, it is no dream.”
In 1948 that dream became a reality – a homeland in Israel, the promised land.
Working together Israelis turned a desert into an oasis.
An island of democracy surrounded by a sea of autocracy.
A Jewish state where Jews could live in peace free from fear and persecution.
Let there be no doubt. Israel is the ancient and indigenous homeland of the Jewish people.
We will not let the butchers of Hamas take that dream, long realized, away from us.
Many politicians will stand with Israel when it is easy.
But listen to what they say when it is hard.
They will talk about “both sides.”
I’m here to tell you that there is only one side.
The side of morality.
The side of democracy.
The side of Israel.
We see too often politicians at the United Nations unfairly singling out Israel for criticism.
I will always stand against the unfair singling out of the Middle East’s only democracy.
Already there are calls for Israel to deescalate.
I ask you.
Would any country deescalate after having its people slaughtered in cold blood?
I wish the people of Israel and its brave soldiers Godspeed on their mission to defend the promised land from pure evil.
As Prime Minister Stephen Harper said:
Through fire and water Canada will stand with you.
Am Yisrael Chai!