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This article was published 6/4/2016 (1295 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG — Court documents from a protection order filed against the Liberal candidate in Dauphin show his family’s fears stemmed from Garry Gurke’s refusal to take his medication.
Testimony under oath from Garry Gurke’s daughter, wife and son, talk of a loving father who was diagnosed with bipolar disease three years ago, which drastically changed his personality to the point his wife said she is “not sure what he is going to do (next).”
“It is getting worse and he is doing stranger things every day,” his wife told a justice at Dauphin Court of Queen’s Bench on Nov. 16. “He is just so dead set against any medication.”
The family detailed that Gurke had a history of taking his meds in order to get clearance from doctors, then go off the medication and “keep doing what he is doing,” explained his wife, who left Gurke last fall.
His son detailed how his father sent him shell casings in an envelope. His daughter talked of an incident in which Gurke sent a package to her home containing “sexual content and sexual references.” His wife talked of erratic behaviour in which would he frequently accuse her of infidelity and had become “verbally and emotionally abusive.”
The Winnipeg Free Press reported on Monday Gurke’s family had taken out a protection order against him in November 2015. Gurke has not been charged with a criminal offence. According to an audio recording of the November hearing, the protection order was granted under the Domestic Violence and Stalking Act after evidence given by the family showing Gurke couldn’t be relied upon to take his medication.
The protection order barred Gurke from having any contact with his family, including his grandchildren, for the three years.
The Liberals stand by their candidate, saying in a statement that, “Manitobans battle mental health issues all the time and if we stigmatized those that do it doesn’t say much about us as a party or people.”
Gurke did not speak openly about his challenges with mental illness, but said one of the reasons he decided to run for office was to be an advocate for mental health awareness.
» Winnipeg Free Press