Manitoba legislature looking at security changes after recent incidents: minister

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After a vehicle breached security on Manitoba's legislative grounds, Justice Minister Cameron Friesen talks about security changes – Jul 9, 2021

Justice Minister Cameron Friesen says the Manitoba legislature will likely undergo some security changes after a pickup truck drove up the limestone steps at the front of the building Wednesday evening.

The incident came only a few days after two statues — including the large tribute to Queen Victoria in front of the legislature — were toppled as part of a protest in support of residential school victims.

Although details haven’t been fully hammered out yet, Friesen told 680 CJOB on Thursday afternoon that changes are in the works.

Cameron Friesen. THE CANADIAN PRESS / John Woods

“In light of the last days, we need to think about when people are there — how are we keeping them safe, how are we making sure that we can have people coming and going in a manner that is safe to everyone?” he said.

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“That work continues and it accelerates as a consequence of the last few days.”

Friesen said any operational changes to site security will focus around the safety of the building’s employees — many of whom aren’t politicians.

“Unlike other legislatures, in Manitoba (the building is) both the place where politicians and their staff work, but it’s also the place where the civil service works. In other legislatures, it’s not the case.

“There are a great deal of people who make this their workplace, and we’ve got a great responsibility to make sure people can come and go from their workplace and be safe.”

Read more: Winnipeg man charged after truck drives up Manitoba Legislature steps

Police said a Winnipeg man, 33, is facing charges of dangerous operation of a conveyance and mischief under $5,000 after the incident on the legislature’s steps.

No one was injured, but police said the vehicle drove through several traffic cones that were set up for roadwork before speeding up and ramming its way up the limestone steps.

The driver was admitted to hospital for a medical assessment before being released on a promise to appear in court.


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