Security expected to be increased for Canada Day festivities

Security measures are expected to be beefed up at two Winnipeg locations Friday when Canada Day events get underway.

Those who attend The Forks and the Manitoba Legislature will notice an increased security presence after violent incidents at The Forks recently and the toppling of a statue of Queen Victoria on the legislative grounds last year.

“There will be an increased security presence on site and we have connected with the Downtown Community Safety Partnership as well as the Winnipeg Police Service,” said Clare McKay, the vice president of strategic initiatives at The Forks.

Events at The Forks are expected to look different from years past. There will be no fireworks or evening events. This year, programming will run during the day with spaces to celebrate and contemplate in an effort towards reconciliation.

“We had to look at our programming – especially at a site with 6,000 years of history, most of which is Indigenous.”

Justice officials said security will be ramped up at the Manitoba Legislature.

“We can confirm that enhanced security plans for the Manitoba Legislative Building and grounds will be in place for the Canada Day long weekend,” officials said in a statement to CTV News.

A march last year honouring children lost at residential schools ended with the statue of Queen Victoria being torn down.

This year, organizers of the Every Child Matters walk say, while they don’t condemn what happened, they want the march to be peaceful.

“We are in close contact with WPS and I think the security will be tighter this year,” said Diandra Powderhorn, the organizer of the walk.

The Winnipeg Police Service said it has resources and plans in place to manage Canada Day events.

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