Blockade dismantled at Winnipeg’s Brady Road landfill

City crews took down a blockade at the main entrance of Winnipeg’s Brady Road landfill Tuesday morning, ending a nearly two-week demonstration on the roadway. Edward Djan has more.

The dismantling of the blockade at Winnipeg’s Brady Road landfill Tuesday morning was done in a “peaceful manner,” according to police.

Two Winnipeg Police Service officers and workers with front-end loaders were at the blockade around 9:15 a.m. to enforce the temporary injunction granted by a Manitoba judge last week.

No arrests were made and there was no use of force, says WPS special events commander Gord Spado.

Dozens of protesters erected the blockade two weeks ago demanding a search of the privately owned Prairie Green Landfill, north of the city, for the remains of two slain Indigenous women.

Spado says he and another officer arrived to find just a few protesters at the blockade.

Because “they were not decision makers,” according to Spado, a phone call was made to Joseph Munro, the leader of the Camp Morgan “peace village” just off the roadway.

READ MORE: Indigenous leaders say they do not accept premier’s comments on landfill search

Spado says Munro agreed the time had come to dismantle the blockade. Protesters then reportedly gathered their personal belongings before allowing the front-end loaders through.

The roadway was expected to be fully reopened by noon. Camp Morgan will not be dismantled, nor will paint on the roadway be removed, though Gordo says it will vanish over time.

Police say the “measured approach” and peaceful situation was very different from Friday, when “emotions were high” and protesters were not prepared to leave.

Workers dismantling Winnipeg’s Brady Road landfill blockade dismantled July 18, 2023. (CityNews)

The temporary injunction was granted Friday after the City of Winnipeg argued in court it was causing environmental and safety risks. A city official posted the court order, stapled to a wooden board, at the blockade later that evening.

The judge had said demonstrators could continue to protest at the Brady Road landfill but they could not block the road. They can hand out materials and talk with people passing by, he added.

Manitoba opposes search of landfill

The Manitoba and federal governments have been sparring over the landfill search.

Stefanson cited safety risks as her main reason for opposing a search of the Prairie Green landfill. She pointed to a federally funded study that said a search could cost up to $184 million, expose workers to toxic material and have no guarantee of success.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller criticized the province for shirking its responsibilities, while Stefanson accused Miller of politicizing a tragedy.

Experts consulted for the study joined Indigenous leaders and the families of the women Monday, saying risks could be mitigated and the search could be done safely.

WATCH: Court grants injunction to remove blockade at Winnipeg landfill

Jeremy Skibicki has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of four women, including Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran, whose remains are believed to be at the privately run Prairie Green landfill.

He has also been charged in the death of Rebecca Contois, whose remains were found last year at Brady Road, and an unidentified woman Indigenous leaders are calling Buffalo Woman, whose remains have not been found.

—With files from The Canadian Press

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