After another body was discovered in the Brady Road Landfill this week, Cambria Harris wonders if it’s time for the city of Winnipeg to shut down the facility, because she says it is no longer a landfill, it is a massive unmarked grave.

“I know it’s not just that simple and a lot of things have to happen to shut down a landfill, but at this point I think it’s time for it to be shut down, because we believe Indigenous women and girls have been dumped in that landfill for decades,” Harris said.

“Either shut it down and search all of it, or make it a giant memorial. It can’t even be considered a landfill anymore.

“It’s a massive unmarked burial site, and it’s a crime scene.”

Harris spoke to the Winnipeg Sun on Wednesday, one day after it was announced that the remains of Linda Mary Beardy, 33, a Winnipeg resident and member of the Lake St. Martin First Nation, were discovered on Monday afternoon by staff at the city-run Brady Landfill.

Investigators believe Beardy’s remains were left at the landfill by a garbage truck and discovered within hours of being left there on Monday.

Harris did not know Beardy personally, but she has been at the forefront recently of a movement trying to get the Brady Road and the Prairie Green landfills searched after her own mother was killed in December and being told that police believe her mother’s remains are somewhere in the Prairie Green landfill, north of Winnipeg.

Partial remains of 24-year-old Rebecca Contois, were discovered in the Brady Road landfill last June, and with the news this week of another body being dumped there, Harris wonders how many more women and girls have been left there over the decades that it has been operating.

“I and many others believe there are other bodies of missing women in there, women in this province have been going missing since the 1970s and so many families are looking for closure, and that’s why I say it’s a crime scene,” she said.

She also worries that after hearing that a body was recently dumped there others might think they can get away with it.

“I have been saying for months that this was going to continue to happen if the landfill is not being searched, because people can take advantage and feel emboldened if they feel they can get away with dumping a body at the landfill,” Harris said.

“The longer we decide not to search for our loves ones, the longer this will continue.”

Harris and others have also been advocating recently to see all levels of government and society do more to keep Indigenous women and girls safe, and she said it was “heartbreaking” when she heard the news about the discovery of Beardy this week.

“It’s so hard, because we have been fighting for women for months and raising their voices, and now another one has fallen through the cracks,” Harris said.

A spokesperson for the City of Winnipeg said the city is making increasing and ongoing efforts to control what goes into the landfill and determine where it is coming from, but as of this week there were no plans to discuss any permanent closure.

“We use very defined plans and processes to manage garbage disposal at the Brady Road Resource Management Facility,” the spokesperson said. “The landfill is split up into cells, which are specifically defined areas of the landfill used to bury garbage in a controlled way.

“Garbage collection vehicles contracted by the City are equipped with GPS devices, allowing us to track specific loads, and where materials are being deposited within our landfill.

“Staff are trained to report any suspicious materials to the Winnipeg Police Service.”

During a Tuesday media conference, Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) Insp. Shawn Pike said that as of Tuesday police were not yet officially calling Beardy’s death a homicide, but were calling it “suspicious.”

Police say they do not believe Beardy’s death is related in any way to Jeremy Skibicki who is facing three first-degree murder charges after one victim’s partial remains were found in the Brady Road landfill and two others are suspected to be in the Prairie Green landfill.

Anyone with any information about the death of Beardy is asked to call Winnipeg Police at 204-986-6508.

By Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Apr 05, 2023 at 17:04

This item reprinted with permission from    The Sun    Winnipeg, Manitoba
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