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'We won't accept anything less': AMC asks for direct funding for Manitoba landfill search


The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is asking the federal, provincial, and municipal governments for direct funding of a search of the Prairie Green Landfill for the remains of two Indigenous women, after submitting an operational planning report to all three levels of government.

"We ask for a clear timeframe for funding timeframe from the federal and provincial governments," said Grand Chief Cathy Merrick, "No more delays, no more vague promises."

Merrick said she submitted a document titled the Inter-Related Operational Planning Report to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Premier Wab Kinew's office, and the City of Winnipeg.

Mayor Gillingham's office confirmed the report was received. CTV News has not yet heard back from the other levels of government.

The AMC is not releasing the report to the public.

"We want to give them time to review the documents," said Merrick, who did not confirm if the document will be released publicly at a later date.

Police have said they believe the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran were taken to the Prairie Green Landfill, but that it was too dangerous to search for them.

The federal government provided $740,000 to further research on how to conduct a search safely after an initial feasibility study found it would be possible, but that toxic materials could pose a risk to workers.

The initial study, also funded by the federal government, also determined it could take up to three years and cost as much as $184 million.

Jeremy Skibicki has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Harris, Myran and two others -- Rebecca Contois, whose partial remains were found in a different landfill last year, and an unidentified woman Indigenous leaders are calling Buffalo Woman.

None of the charges have been proven in court.

Technical experts at the news conference suggested the report outlines operational processes needed to conduct a search, also suggesting a smaller price tag and shorter timeline than had been previously reported.

CTV News has not reviewed the document and no official estimates were provided.

If funding is greenlit for the search, the AMC wants to oversee the operation.

"If it's going to come from the federal government it should come through this, from our political office at the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs," said Merrick.

"We won't accept anything less."

-With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories

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