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Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board gets new members

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 @ 12:04 PM | By Carolyn Gruske

The Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board (CCRB) has a new chair and three new members of the board.

The CCRB is an independent tribunal designed to bring legal and medical expertise to matters once the court determines an accused person is either not criminally responsible or unfit to stand trial. The board must include at least five members, one of whom must be a psychiatrist. All members are required to have a good knowledge and understanding of the relevant sections of the Criminal Code.

The new chair is Michael Mercury, a retired partner from what used to be Aikins, MacAulay and Thorvaldson and is now MLT Aikins LLP. Mercury practised general law, civil litigation, municipal law, municipal assessment and taxation and administrative law.

Dr. Jim Skinner was appointed as a psychiatrist member. He is an an assistant professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Manitoba and also maintains a private practice. Skinner has been a consultant for the Northern Regional Health Authority, the Northern Medical Unit and FASD Life’s Journey (FASD is the commonly used abbreviation for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder).

Dr. Hazel Wiebe was also appointed as a psychiatrist member. She is an acute care psychiatrist at Eden Mental Health Centre and previously worked at St. Boniface General Hospital. Wiebe is member of the Mental Health Review Board, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Canadian Psychiatric Association and Doctors Manitoba.

John Field joined the board as a layperson, although he has experience in the justice system, having been a Crown attorney (specializing in criminal law) for more than 30 years in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Before his retirement, he also served as the Manitoba co-ordinator for the National Flagging System, an initiative designed to track and share information about high-risk violent and sexually violent offenders.