Manitoba legislature rally calls for landfill search amid national protests

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Hundreds came retired connected Monday to a rally astatine the Manitoba legislature successful enactment of a hunt of Prairie Green Landfill for 2 murdered Indigenous women. The rally was portion of a nationalist time of enactment with parallel protests successful large cities crossed the country.

“If your granddaughter oregon your girl was sitting successful a landfill and cipher wanted to look for her, what would you do? You’d beryllium crying and fighting, and that’s what we’re doing,” said Donna Bartlett, grandma of Marcedes Myran.

“Close your eyes and deliberation if your granddaughter oregon your girl was sitting successful a landfill, and cipher wanted to look for her.”

Bartlett made a passionate plea asking the state to bring her granddaughter home. This is conscionable the latest successful a bid of protests aft Manitoba’s PC authorities refused to enactment a hunt for Myran and Morgan Harris successful July.

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“She’s retired successful a landfill, and (Heather) Stefanson doesn’t privation to spell look for her. If it was her granddaughter, her daughter, she would look close away,” Bartlett added.

Meanwhile, protester Robyn Johnston accused the state of not pursuing its ain policies connected reconciliation.

“Why does the provincial authorities get to accidental they are lone going to use this enactment erstwhile it suits them? Nowhere successful this authorities does it accidental they tin garbage if it costs excessively overmuch money,” Johnston said.

“How galore posters request to beryllium drawn? How galore sleepless nights volition radical person to endure? How galore tears request to beryllium shed? How galore much lives volition beryllium ruined? How galore much women, girls and two-spirited radical indispensable dice earlier she really starts to enactment similar the person she is expected to and pb with dignity for herself, dignity arsenic a genitor and dignity for others?”

Stefanson, the PC leader, reiterated her party’s attack to the calls for a landfill hunt erstwhile asked by 680 CJOB’s Richard Cloutier astatine a unrecorded vigor statement connected Monday. Speaking connected concerns related to information and whether oregon not a hunt would adjacent beryllium successful, she stated that her authorities would not spell up with a search.

Much of that, she noted, was based connected worries implicit toxic chemicals she said were successful the landfill.

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“This has been a precise hard decision,” Stefanson said. “I would emotion to beryllium capable to accidental yes to everything but due to the fact that of information reasons the reply conscionable has to beryllium no.”

But arsenic the authorities continued with an reply it’s been giving since July, erstwhile a landfill hunt feasibility study was archetypal released, respective labour leaders person besides thrown their enactment down calls for the landfill search. Gina Smoke, an Indigenous liaison with Canada’s largest private-sector union, Unifor, said she doesn’t bargain Stefanson’s crushed for not searching.

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“There shouldn’t beryllium a occupation to get retired determination and commencement searching. The infinitesimal they knew determination were women successful this landfill, they should person stopped dumping garbage successful there,” Smoke said.

“We person members that bash hazardous enactment crossed the country. We each cognize however to beryllium harmless erstwhile it comes to moving with hazardous materials.”

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Following the rally, a smaller radical laid a reddish formal connected the legislature’s statue of Queen Elizabeth.

Red formal connected the legislature’s statue of Queen Elizabeth during Monday’s protest. Katherine Dornian / Global News

They past concisely disrupted postulation astatine Portage and Main earlier heading to The Forks to wage their respects astatine the monument for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, hoping their connection volition beryllium heard loudly — close crossed the country.

Ahead of the Oct. 3 election, some NDP Leader Wab Kinew and Liberal Party Leader Dougald Lamont said they would enactment a hunt of the landfill.

“We’ve talked to the experts. They cognize it tin beryllium done safely. If determination is simply a occupation of toxic chemicals successful the landfill, it means that our landfill shouldn’t beryllium that mode either. This is astir cardinal justice,”  Lamont said erstwhile asked however the Liberal Party would attack calls for a hunt astatine the statement connected Monday. “They’re besides Manitobans.”

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— with files from Global’s Katherine Dornian

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