Because of the protest camp set up across the street from the Saskatchewan Legislature, Regina’s Canada Day committee is moving all activities from the West Lawn to the north side of Wascana Lake with the exception of the Strongman competition, 21 gun salute and Plywood Cup.
The Provincial Capital Commission is not happy with this development and they are also not happy with the Regina police service.
In a news release, the commission’s executive director Carrie Ross says they have officially requested Regina Police enforce the law and remove the tipis that have been set up seeing there are bylaws in place prohibiting overnight camping, placement of structures, and the burning of wood and other combustibles.
Ross goes on to say it is disappointing to have make last minute changes to an event that requires year-round planning because of an unpermitted and illegal protest.
Meanwhile, Regina Police Service released a statement Wednesday saying they feel that no action needs to be taken by the police force.
The statement from Chief Evan Bray is as followed:
“Right now, our focus is community safety. We don’t feel a police response at this point…especially knowing that there is a meeting and a discussion planned in under a week from now…that a police response would do anything to help that. And so, we assess it multiple times a day. We make sure that there’s no risk to the public, which at this point we don’t feel there is; and so our response right now is to let that discussion happen and ultimately hope for a peaceful resolution.”
“There’s been a lot of discussion with First Nations leaders in the province, particularly in the south part of the province, who have really done a lot of work to help facilitate this conversation between the provincial government and the protest group. And so, the fact that there’s some meaningful dialogue is very positive.”
“Obviously we’ve been working closely with the Provincial Government on this, with the Provincial Capital Commission and with the group of protestors and now with First Nation leaders as well. So knowing that dialogue is happening and knowing that there is, right now, no risk to the community – this is a very peaceful protest that is happening – it’s our goal to maintain the peace, make sure that our community stays safe, allow those conversations to happen and then we’re very hopeful and optimistic for a resolution.”