The City of Winnipeg has applied for a court injunction to end a blockade at a landfill that has been in place since last Thursday.
In an application to the Court of King’s Bench, the city is asking for a judge to order an end to the blockade at the Brady Road landfill and to authorize the arrest and removal of anyone who contravenes the order.
Mayor Scott Gillingham says he supports the injunction.
“I think it’s important that we don’t run into the situation where we could have garbage collection interrupted so I think it’s really important that we continue to make sure those operations are ongoing,” Gillingham told reporters during a media availability Tuesday afternoon.
The paperwork required a signature from the mayor, chief executive officer and director of the water and waste department.
One day after a city-ordered evacuation notice was up protesters continued to hold their ground outside the city-owned landfill with no plans to move, demanding officials search a different landfill for the remains of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Brady Road landfill blockade holding in place against evacuation order
Melissa Morrisseau, a supporter of the camp, said until the province changes its tune on a landfill search or there’s further negotiations, the group isn’t going anywhere.
“I don’t take my direction from Heather Stefanson, I don’t take my direction from Winnipeg police, I take my direction from community and from the families of our women, our mothers, our sisters that are in that landfill,” she said from the blockade Tuesday morning.
While the main entrance to the landfill has been blocked since last week a side entrance remains available, but Gillingham said the roadway isn’t sustainable as it isn’t designed for heavy traffic volumes, especially after heavy rains.
At an unrelated press conference yesterday Premier Heather Stefanson said her decision not to conduct a search of the Prairie Green Landfill, where the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran are believed to be, still stands.
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Jeremy Skibicki faces first-degree murder charges in their deaths as well as for the death of Rebecca Contois, whose partial remains were found last year at the Brady Road landfill, and an unidentified woman Indigenous leaders are calling Buffalo Woman whose remains have not been found.
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A federally-funded study on the feasibility of a landfill search found it could take years to do and cost $184 million with no guaranteed findings and workers being exposed to harmful elements. The study also found not conducting a search would cause more harm to the victims’ families.
Liam Naylor, owner of You Call We Haul Service, said the blockade affects his hauling and trailer renting business because the privately-owned Prairie Green Landfill has shorter operating hours which restricts his opportunity to conduct business.
Naylor also said he wasn’t told the Brady landfill was temporarily closed, nor was he aware of a separate entrance, forcing him to drive there and find out for himself.
“A warning would have been nice.”
Others have taken matters into their own hands by dumping garbage and soil near the blockade causing clashes between the public and the protesters.
Gillingham denounced the littering, and said while tensions are high, dialogue between the two camps remains his goal.
“We’ve got people of the community that I’m hearing from that want the road open and they’re frustrated, and no doubt family members are grieving the loss of loved ones and they want action from senior levels of government, so we’re trying to move clearly but respectively.”
A hearing on the city’s court application is set for Wednesday morning.
– with files from Global News’ Marney Blunt and The Canadian Press
Winnipeg Mayor Gillingham says he supports injunction against Brady Road barricade to resume service to landfill
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