City’s request for injunction at landfill ‘disheartening’ but expected, chief says – Winnipeg |


The City of Winnipeg’s efforts to get a court injunction to end a blockade at the Brady Road landfill that has been in place since last Thursday were expected, but “disheartening,” says a Manitoba Indigenous leader.

In an application to the Court of King’s Bench, the city is asking a judge to order an end to the blockade and to authorize the arrest and removal of anyone who contravenes the order. Protesters are demanding officials search another local landfill for the remains of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

“When we look at the response that we received from the province, and now with the city — they have reached out and now they are wanting to negotiate — I’m not really sure what exactly that means,” Long Plain First Nation Chief Kyra Wilson told Global Winnipeg.

“All we’re really asking for is the support when it comes to searching the landfill. That’s all we’re looking for right now.

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The protesters, Wilson said, are trying to peacefully bring awareness to the issue — a subject that has heated up in recent days after Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson’s refusal to conduct a search of the Prairie Green Landfill, where the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran are believed to be.

“It’s really upsetting, because you just have a group of people … they’re wanting to be heard, they’re wanting to bring awareness to the issue, and the response is that they potentially could be arrested,” Wilson said.

Click to play video: 'Long Plain First Nation chief on city’s injuction plans'

Long Plain First Nation chief on city’s injuction plans

“That’s unfortunate, and that’s really upsetting, considering we’re all very much a part of this community within this province, within this city. We are First Nations but we are very much a part of this community that we have within this province.”

The blockade, Wilson said, is only disrupting one entrance to the Brady site — the landfill has still been actively used throughout the protest.

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On Tuesday afternoon, Winnipeg mayor Scott Gillingham, who supports the injunction, told media that while a second entrance remains open, the road leading to that entrance isn’t designed for heavy traffic, and there are concerns the blockade will affect city garbage collection as a result.

“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 said.

Click to play video: 'Legal expert on Brady Landfill injunction efforts'

Legal expert on Brady Landfill injunction efforts

While the injunction request is awaiting a decision from a judge, expected Wednesday, law professor Allan Hutchinson told Global Winnipeg it’s unlikely it will be a cut-and-dried ruling that will either force protesters to leave or allow them to remain.

Hutchinson said there are a number of factors the judge will have to take into account, including public interest, but in similar cases, such as with striking workers, injunctions can have the effect of allowing demonstrations to continue, but with certain restrictions.

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In other cases, he said, judges have dictated when and where protests are allowed to take place.

“In this case, it’s worth stating that the protesters do have certain Charter rights to protest, so the issue is less likely to be whether they have a right to protest, but about the time, place and manner of the protest,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg Mayor Gillingham says he supports injunction against Brady Road barricade to resume service to landfill'

Winnipeg Mayor Gillingham says he supports injunction against Brady Road barricade to resume service to landfill

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