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Forks to have beefed-up security for Canada Day party in light of 2022 stabbing

Click to play video: 'Ukrainian refugee doing well after Canada Day stabbing last year'
Ukrainian refugee doing well after Canada Day stabbing last year
An update on a Ukrainian refugee who was stabbed during Canada Day festivities at The Forks last year. – Jun 28, 2023

The Forks is gearing up for a big crowd once again for its Canada Day festivities Saturday, but this year’s event will feature beefed-up security.

Last year on July 1, a Ukrainian refugee was stabbed near the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Although he recovered and two people were arrested, the incident sparked a conversation about downtown safety, with community leaders, politicians, and Winnipeg’s police chief weighing in.

Clare McKay with the Forks North Portage Partnership says violence of any form will not be accepted.

“We’re working with a large number of community safety organizations, our own internal security and the Winnipeg Police Service to ensure that safety and crowd control is big for us on event days,” McKay told 680 CJOB’s The Start.

“So we have a full team in place that is able to assist us.”

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The victim of last year’s attack, who was stabbed in the neck, decided to stay in Winnipeg and continues to thrive despite the harrowing incident, says the president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba.

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Joanne Lewandoski told 680 CJOB’s Connecting Winnipeg that the man initially had fears and was considering moving on, but is happy he chose to remain here.

“It’s hard to believe a year has passed by. The young man is doing extremely well,” she said.

“He’s been working at a full-time job since last fall. He’s totally recovered, and he’s settled in the northeastern part of Winnipeg.

“He’s built up a great number of friends, he’s in a situation where his girlfriend has arrived from Ukraine… and life goes on.”

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Lewandoski said the man had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time when the stabbing took place, but overall has a positive view of the city and province.

Click to play video: 'Drone show to cap off Canada Day at The Forks'
Drone show to cap off Canada Day at The Forks

The Forks won’t be putting on its traditional fireworks display this year, but there’s something special planned that will still light up the sky over the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.

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The first-ever Winnipeg drone show is scheduled for Saturday night, featuring 100 drones flying above The Forks as part of the ‘Finding Our North Star’ theme of the celebrations.

McKay said an elder from Opaskwayak Cree Nation will be telling stories during the show.

“Images will shapeshift throughout the narration — this will be narrated and there will be speakers on the site, so people will hear Wilfred Bach tell us about the North Star and why it’s important.

“The idea that we all share one sky is part of his teachings, and I think that’s really fitting for Canada Day at The Forks.”

The show gets underway at 10:30 p.m., with other programming, including a full schedule of live music, food trucks and more happening throughout the day.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg mayor says stabbing in The Forks on Canada Day a ‘terrible situation’'
Winnipeg mayor says stabbing in The Forks on Canada Day a ‘terrible situation’

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