Manitoba legislature calls for landfill amid national protests – Winnipeg

Hundreds of people attended a rally at the Manitoba legislature Monday to support the search of the Prairie Green landfill for two murdered Indigenous women. The rally was part of a national day of action with parallel protests in major cities across the country.

“If your granddaughter was in a dump and no one wanted to look for her, what would you do? You would cry and you would struggle, and that’s what we do,” said Donna Bartlett, grandmother of Marcedes Myran.

“Close your eyes and ask yourself if your granddaughter or daughter was sitting in a dump and no one wanted to look for them.”

Bartlett made an impa*sioned plea for the province to bring her granddaughter home. It’s just the latest in a series of protests after Manitoba’s Conservative government refused to support the search for Myran and Morgan Harris in July.

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“She’s in a dump and (Heather) Stefanson doesn’t want to go get her. If it was her granddaughter, her daughter, she would watch it right away,” Bartlett added.

Meanwhile, protester Robyn Johnston accused the province of not following its own policies on reconciliation.

“Why can the provincial government say that it will only apply this law when it suits it? Nowhere in this legislation does it say they can refuse if it costs too much,” Johnston said.

“How many posters should we draw? How many sleepless nights will people have to endure? How many tears should we shed? How many more lives will be ruined? How many more women, girls and two-spirited people have to die before she truly begins to act like the leader she is supposed to be and lead with dignity for herself, dignity as a parent and dignity for others ?

Stefanson, the PC leader, reiterated her party’s approach to calls for a dump when 680 CJOB’s Richard Cloutier asked her during a live radio debate Monday. Speaking on security concerns and whether a search would be successful, she said her government would not carry out a search.

Much of that, she noted, was based on concerns about toxic chemicals she said were in the landfill.

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“It was a very difficult decision,” Stefanson said. “I would love to be able to say yes to everything, but for safety reasons the answer has to be no.”

But as the government continues to give the response it has been giving since July, when a feasibility report on seeking a landfill was first published, several union leaders have also thrown their support behind calls for favor of looking for a landfill. Gina Smoke, an Indigenous liaison with Canada’s largest private sector union, Unifor, said she doesn’t accept Stefanson’s reasons for not looking.

“There should be no problem getting out and starting looking.” As soon as they knew there were women in that dump, they should have stopped throwing trash there,” Smoke said.

“We have members doing dangerous work across the country. We all know how to act safely when it comes to working with hazardous materials.

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After the gathering, a smaller group donned red robes at the statue of Queen Elizabeth.

Red dress on the statue of Queen Elizabeth in Parliament during Monday’s protest.

Katherine Dornian / PKBNEWS

They then briefly disrupted traffic at Portage and Main before heading to The Forks to pay their respects at the monument to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, hoping their message will be heard loud and clear across the country.

Before the Oct. 3 election, NDP Leader Wab Kinew and Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said they would support a search of the landfill.

“We spoke to the experts. They know it can be done safely. If there is a problem with toxic chemicals in the landfill, that means our landfill shouldn’t be like that either. This is a matter of fundamental justice,” Lamont said when asked how the Liberal Party would approach calls for a search during Monday’s debate. “They are also Manitobans. »

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– with files from Katherine Dornian of Global

&copy 2023 PKBNEWS, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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