There are many things out there that make me sad, angry or utterly confused when I think about them. Lately there has been one thing on my mind that continues to baffle me, and that is the Manitoba government’s decision not to search the landfills where police believe the partial remains of four women who were victimized by one Winnipeg man are located.
A feasibility study has estimated the cost of searching two Winnipeg area landfills to be $184 million, which could take up to three years to complete.
While not everyone would agree with me, I don’t think the cost matters. In fact, I don’t think cost should be a consideration for the search of the Winnipeg landfills for several reasons.
One of the four victims is known as Buffalo Woman because, while police know there to be four victims, they do not know the identity of one of the women. How can a prosecutor successfully get justice for a victim, if the victim remains unknown?
Let's think of all the family members who have a daughter or sister or mother who went missing in the Winnipeg area around the time the Buffalo Woman is believed to have been murdered. Don’t those families deserve closure? If it was your loved one, wouldn’t you want them to be brought home?
Do these women not deserve the dignity of being returned to their families after one individual carried out the cruelest and the most deplorable indignity to them? If that was your loved one, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to find your missing person?
After learning of another disturbing string of serial of murders that took place in Winnipeg in 2011, it has become clear that Winnipeg landfills have been the disposal site of others who prey on vulnerable women.
If a proper and thorough search of those landfills is not carried out, what are we saying to all of those sick individuals who want to do harm to others? I am sure you can finish this thought for me – as the answer is equally disturbing as the question itself.
While I will never understand the premier of Manitoba’s decision, I think it has now reached the point where all Canadians should say that we do not accept this response.
As Canadians we cannot accept landfills being used as the burial grounds for those who have been murdered – because if it can happen there, it can happen here.
Whether it takes the federal government to step in or other provincial leaders to step forward with funds and search volunteers – the landfills need to be searched. This cannot become another mark on our collective conscience.