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‘A compassionate mission’: Manitoba lays out next steps in landfill search

Click to play video: 'Manitoba landfill search’s major operations to start fall of 2024: premier'
Manitoba landfill search’s major operations to start fall of 2024: premier
On Thursday, Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew and the province's Amna Mackin outlined the four phases of the Prairie Green Landfill search for the remains of two women believed to be at the site. – Jun 20, 2024

The Manitoba government has provided more details about its plans to search a landfill north of Winnipeg for human remains.

Premier Wab Kinew and Amna Mackin, assistant deputy minister of cabinet delivery and strategic priorities, spoke to media Thursday afternoon from the Manitoba legislature and laid out the scope of the multi-phase project, which Kinew called “a compassionate mission”.

The remains of two victims of admitted serial killer Jeremy Skibicki are believed to be in the landfill, and after months of protest and debate — and a delay due to Skibicki’s recently wrapped murder trial — wheels are in motion for the search of the site.

The first phase, Mackin said, involved permit approvals and was officially completed last week.

“It marks a very critical milestone for the search,” she said.

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“In regards to permitting, we first needed a development permit to start our onsite work at (Prairie Green). That permit has now been issued and we’ll be obtaining building permits and other permits as required.”

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Up next is a planning phase which will include narrowing the search area and determining what workers on-site will look for.

“During the detailed planning, we’ll also be very focused on safety,” she said.

“We’re currently finalizing an exposure control plan, which will help address some of the safety concerns associated with the search.”

Concern over worker safety was the reason behind the previous provincial government — led by then-premier Heather Stefanson — ultimately deciding not to search the landfill last summer.

Mackin said pinpointing where the remains of Marcedes Myran and Morgan Harris might be is expected to take all summer.

“We’re currently trying to narrow down where the waste from May 16, 2022, may have been placed, and so that area and a certain amount of material surrounding it will be identified as an area called the targeted zone.

“We’re in the process of undertaking an engineering assessment.”

The material will be carefully excavated and thoroughly searched later this fall.

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Mackin said Thursday that a local company will also be building an 1,800-square-foot healing space next month, to be used by family and elders at the site if they need support.

The space is expected to include a culturally-appropriate design, including red shingles, representing the symbolic red dress of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Click to play video: 'Search of Manitoba landfill for human remains closer to beginning as development permit issued'
Search of Manitoba landfill for human remains closer to beginning as development permit issued

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