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Manitoba Legislature encampments remain in place as eviction deadline passes

Encampment members at the Manitoba Legislature meet with a liaison team ahead of Tuesday’s noon eviction deadline on Aug. 23, 2022. (Source: Josh Crabb/CTV News) Encampment members at the Manitoba Legislature meet with a liaison team ahead of Tuesday’s noon eviction deadline on Aug. 23, 2022. (Source: Josh Crabb/CTV News)

Two encampments on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building remained set up Tuesday as the province’s eviction deadline of noon passed with no visible enforcement action taken.

“Last week we got the eviction notice that we were supposed to be out of here by noon today,” said Mary Starr, an east side camp member who identified herself by her traditional name Danko Makwa Kaypeytashete which she said means great-grandmother bear who comes like the wind.

“We’re still here and we plan to stay.”

The camp on the east side of the Manitoba Legislative Building was set up more than a year ago to honour children who died while attending residential schools.

On Tuesday, several news cameras were present as four liaison officers met with members of the east side camp just before the noon deadline and had what appeared to be an amicable conversation.

No visible enforcement action was taken.

“All we’re saying is we have a right to be here and this is the right place to be because they’re the government,” Starr said. “We have issues. We believe what they’re doing to us is unfair."

A second, unrelated encampment has seen been set up on the legislative grounds in front of the main entrance to the building.

The province served members of both camps with eviction notices on Aug. 17 which said people have to leave and remove their structures.

The eviction notice said the camps are in violation of provincial legislation passed this year restricting permanent encampments on legislative property.

The legislation bans people from erecting structures and occupying tents or permanent shelters.

The law came into effect following a convoy protest in opposition of COVID-19 mandates and public health measures that blocked traffic in the area over the winter and an incident on Canada Day in 2021 when protesters tore down two Queen statues.

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Acting Grand Chief Cornell McLean said he plans to visit both camps after calling on the province to delay the evictions.

"The province has given us a reprieve until Thursday before they enforce their evictions," said McLean.

He said he hopes to avoid any physical enforcement.

"We'd like to come to some kind of peaceful resolution and not have any kind of violence or anything."

The second camp also remained in place after Tuesday’s deadline of noon.

A spokesperson for Manitoba Justice said they remain in constant communication with law enforcement.

"Although the deadline on the eviction notice has passed, the Justice department is continuing its dialogue with protesters at the encampments," the spokesperson said in an email to CTV News Winnipeg.

They added, protests and demonstrations are permitted on the grounds of the Legislature, but for safety and security reasons, encampments are not permitted. Top Stories

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