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Kevin Klein Will Combat Youth Gang Recruitment

Winnipeg, Man. (October 21, 2022) - The reality is our beautiful city is suffering under brutal and well-documented organized crime that preys on vulnerable residents, and our young people. There continues to be a significant increase of crime in the City of Winnipeg, with over 42 homicides in the first 10 months – each loss impacting a family and community.

“Unfortunately, I have experienced first-hand the impact of a murdered loved one. We lost my mother too soon when her life was cut short by her partner. This experience has shaped who I have become and the value I place on keeping our youth on the right path, breaking the cycle of poverty and violence.”

Criminal organizations recruit and manipulate vulnerable, at risk, marginalized members of society to do their leg work. The focused recruitment of vulnerable young people and gradual grooming and exploitation of pre-teens turning them into experienced offenders capable of structured crime and violent acts must stop.

One of the most effective approaches to stopping organized crime is to cut off the available new members and starve the organization of resources. A structured government response is key to defeating the approach of organized criminals. A significant investment from the government in youth can largely deter the influences of organized crime, crippling such organizations from the base up.

As mayor, I will invest up to $7 million in funding over four years to support not for profits to provide and staff safe spaces and programing in vulnerable neighborhoods. Youth need a safe and welcoming place to go to engage in arts, sports and know they are valued.

There will be engagement and consultation with non-profit community organizations to determine strategies and funding arrangements to enhance youth programming and part-time job opportunities for young people. This method will starve organized crime and gangs within the city of their most easily accessible source of long-term frontline workers: vulnerable, unsupported, and marginalized youth.

I will advocate adding cadet officers to patrol local community centers and recreation facilities ensuring a visible presence in our neighbourhoods, starting with the most vulnerable communities. I will work with the police board and the Winnipeg police service to financially support the cadets regularly patrol high risk luring areas to deter the criminals and reassure Winnipeggers that public safety is a priority.

The funding will be identified through the zero-based budget review, and photo radar revenues to be directed to this priority program.


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