Snow removal forcing Steinbach family to remove memorial

A Steinbach family has been told they have to take down a roadside memorial.

That’s because the City of Steinbach said it has to come down or it will get in the way of snow removal.

The memorial includes a cross, flowers and sign. It’s been placed alongside Hespeler Street where the remains of 29-year-old Ryan Maynard were found in April, but now the family is being told it has to go.

“For us this is a nightmare, because it hasn’t even been a year. His birthday is coming up and we need to take the cross down. It’s just not fair to the family,” said Allison Zaporozan, friend and cousin-in-law of Maynard,

Zaporozan said the City of Steinbach ordered the family to take the cross down because the area needs to be clear for snow removal operations.

The city told CTV News Winnipeg it does not allow permanent structures on public property.

“Based on a request received this spring for the memorial, and out of compassion for the family, an exception was granted for the memorial to be placed at its location for a period of time,” it said in a statement.

Zaporozan was hopeful they would be able to keep it up for Maynard’s birthday on Dec. 31, but was denied — a decision she is fighting.

“This cross, we all go there to visit. We all sit there and have conversations with Ryan,” she said.

Keeping the cross isn’t the only thing Zaporozan wants to see in Steinbach.

Maynard lived with addictions and mental health issues, and now Zaporozan says she’s working to see more done to bring help in the area.

“Steinbach’s big. We need more resources for individuals that are struggling.” she said.

The province says there are supports for Manitobans including Klinic counselling and a Manitoba Farm, Rural and Northern Support Service.

“We know that many Manitobans are deeply impacted by the mental health and addictions crisis happening across our province,” Housing, Addictions and Homelessness Minister Bernadette Smith said in a statement. “Our government is committed to ensuring that mental health services and supports are available to all Manitobans. Work is underway to expand services and address areas of need across the province.”

Maynard’s cross may be coming down, but Zaporozan said the family will keep visiting.

“We’re not going to stop going there and putting flowers and stuff like that. That’s not going to stop,” she said.

She said the cross will be brought to Maynard’s mother.

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