Tag Archives: Manitoba government

Manitoba introduces bill proposing tougher fines for protesters

FILE: Members of the Urban Warrior Alliance set up a blockade along a CN and Via rail line west of Winnipeg.

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has introduced a bill that proposes tougher fines and possible imprisonment for people interfering with critical infrastructure.

Justice Minister Cameron Friesen said the Progressive Conservative government was looking for a balance between the rights of people to protest and the needs to maintain infrastructure.

“The intent there would be to allow for people to gather, allow for their voices to be heard but to keep them and everyone safe while ensuring the unfettered operation, construction or use of that infrastructure,” Friesen said Monday.

The bill allows for the owner or operator of the infrastructure to be able to apply for a court order to create a temporary protection zone.

Included would be oil or natural gas pipelines and provincial highways. It also includes courthouses, hospitals and animal processing facilities.

If a person were to go into the area, he or she could be fined $5,000 or jailed for up to 30 days. A corporation could be fined up to $25,000.

Each day a person doesn’t follow the court order, the fine can be imposed again.

A court would be able to designate an area where people could protest.

“There would be no desire to see the voices of Manitobans diminished in any way,” Friesen said.

A controversial bill targeting protestors became law in Alberta last year following cross-Canada demonstrations in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in B.C. who were opposed to pipeline construction in their territory.

That legislation forbids anyone from willfully damaging or interfering with essential infrastructure and also brings in fines and jail time.

It is facing a constitutional challenge from an Alberta labour union.

Friesen said Manitoba’s proposed legislation is different. The minister said the Tory bill doesn’t just target those protesting the oil industry and is clearer about what constitutes critical infrastructure.

Nahanni Fontaine, justice critic for Manitoba’s Opposition New Democrats, said the large fines can be devastating for people who are standing up for their rights. She accused the Tories of using the bill to silence anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

“It’s important for Manitobans and Canadians to have that opportunity to express their displeasure at whatever the issue may be,” she said.

By: The Canadian Press, published March 15, 2021.


AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Urges Province Of Manitoba To Cooperate Fully With National Inquiry

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Logo.

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Logo.


AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Urges Manitoba Government to Cooperate Fully with Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

WINNIPEG, June 30, 2016 /CNW/ – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Regional Chief for Manitoba, Kevin Hart, stated today that the Province of Manitoba should cooperate fully in supporting and participating in a national inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, in light of reported statements by Manitoba’s Justice Minister that there are concerns about the inquiry’s potential terms of reference.

“I am calling on the Government of Manitoba to fully support the upcoming national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and for Premier Pallister to honour the promise he made during the election to support the national inquiry. Recent reported statements are of deep concern to me. This crucial inquiry, a process that has been commended on the national stage at the United Nations and beyond, has been fought for by many families, political leaders, advocacy groups and activists.

Now is not the time for political posturing on the backs of the families affected by this national tragedy. I am not only concerned but deeply offended that this government would be resistant to cooperating as this process gets underway. When it comes to reconciliation in this province, much work lies ahead of us, and the national inquiry is an essential piece in that work.

Each statistic tells a story, and as each day goes by another innocent life is lost or put at risk. Our families have waited too long and worked too hard. The national inquiry must do justice to our stolen sisters – and this can only be achieved through the full support, respect and cooperation of all levels of government in Canada. We all must share in the responsibility seeing this process through to fruition.”

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: Kayla Frank, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, 204-296-3601, kfrank@manitobachiefs.com


Freedom Road Campaign Aims To Raise $10M For Shoal Lake 40 First Nation

Rick Harp

Rick Harp has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $10 million to build an all-weather road linking the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation to the mainland. The campaign is accepting donations until Aug. 29. (CBC)

CBC News

‘If the feds aren’t going to do it, somebody’s got to do it,’ says Rick Harp, who started campaign

A Winnipeg man wants to raise $10 million to build an all-weather road that would connect the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, which is on a man-made island, to the outside world.

Rick Harp says he hopes the public will do what the federal government won’t — fund construction of the road, dubbed Freedom Road by Shoal Lake 40 residents.

“If the feds aren’t going to do it, somebody’s got to do it. Let’s step forward,” Harp told CBC News in an interview.

“We just had the Truth and Reconciliation Commission release their report. [We] want to give life to that spirit of reconciliation and do right by Shoal Lake 40.”

His crowdfunding campaign, launched on Monday afternoon, has raised more than $5,000 to date. People have until Aug. 29 to donate.

The Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, which straddles the Manitoba-Ontario border, was cut off from the mainland a century ago when an aqueduct was built to supply Winnipeg with fresh water.

Under boil-water advisory for 17 years

While clean water flows down the aqueduct, murky water is diverted to the First Nation.

Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, Freedom Road

Children are comforted after the federal government refused to commit to funding a third of a road project for Shoal Lake 40 First Nation on June 25. The Winnipeg and Manitoba governments each committed to fund a third of a proposed road from Shoal Lake 40 to Highway 1 in Shoal Lake so the community can have year round access. The federal government refused to commit. (Canadian Press/John Woods)

The community has been under a boil-water advisory for 17 years and has no all-weather road connecting it to the mainland.

Building a permanent, all-weather road would cost an estimated $30 million split between three levels of government.

First Nation members sobbed on Thursday after the federal government refused to commit to help fund the construction of Freedom Road.

The City of Winnipeg and the Manitoba government have committed to fund part of the costs of building the permanent road, but Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford refused to say whether Ottawa would put up its one-third share.

Instead, Rickford reiterated the federal government’s $1-million pledge to a design study for the project.

“Something snapped in me,” said Harp.

“I just said, ‘This is not right. This can’t stand. What can I do? Even though I want my government to do something, what can I do?'”

With files from The Canadian Press


New MMIW Report Won’t Help Families Heal, Manitoba Adviser Says

Nahanni Fontaine, special advisor on Aboriginal Women's Issues for the province, says a new missing and murdered indigenous women RCMP report out June 16, 2015 won't bring families closer to the truth about what happened to their lost relatives. (CBC)

Nahanni Fontaine, special advisor on Aboriginal Women’s Issues for the province, says a new missing and murdered indigenous women RCMP report out June 16, 2015 won’t bring families closer to the truth about what happened to their lost relatives. (CBC)

CBC News

An adviser with the Manitoba government says an RCMP report coming out this week will not bring closure to families of murdered and missing indigenous women.

The report, expected to be released on Friday, builds on last year’s national overview that found there were roughly 1,186 unsolved cases of murdered and missing indigenous women in Canada.

Nahanni Fontaine, the province’s special adviser on aboriginal women’s issues, said that report did help advance the cause and raise awareness.

“It has definitively proven what the community and families have been saying, and it has given legitimacy and urgency to the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls across the country,” said Fontaine.

But Fontaine claims the new report won’t really bring solace to the families who’ve lost women and girls. Most families are ultimately looking for one thing.

“They want somebody to be charged and sentenced for their loved one’s murder or disappearance,” said Fontaine. “At the end of the day, literally that’s the only thing families care about across the country.”