The Regina Police Service is leaving the camp alone near the legislative building, while the body in charge of Wascana Park moves Canada Day celebrations across the lake.
The Provincial Capital Commission (PCC) is in charge of Wascana Park. It said Wednesday morning that festivities for Canada Day are being moved because of the Justice for our Stolen Children camp. Some events which would have been set up on the west lawn are now being moved to the north side of the lake.
In a news release, PCC Executive Director Carrie Ross said it’s disappointing that last-minute changes have to be made because of an “illegal and unpermitted protest”.
“We have bylaws and permits in place to ensure Wascana Park is available for everyone to use in a safe manner, and we are again asking the Regina Police Service to enforce the law.”
The commission said this is the third time it has asked the Regina Police Service to enforce the bylaws in Wascana Park. The bylaws are against overnight camping, putting up structures, and burning things.
Before that release was sent out, Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said the police are assessing the situation multiple times a day, but they’re leaving the camp as it is for now.
“Ultimately, as a police organization, we often have to assess a situation and measure what the response best be to keep the peace, to maintain safety for everyone in our city.”
Bray said the protestors are looking for some meaningful dialogue, and he’s heartened that a meeting has been set up between the protestors and provincial government for July 2.
“We don’t feel a police response at this point, especially knowing that there’s a meeting and a discussion planned in under a week from now, that a police response would do anything to help that.”
Officers dismantled the camp less than a week ago, only to see it put up again with more teepees added. Bray explained that, in addition to a meeting now having been set, since the camp was shut down there has also been a lot of discussions between First Nations leaders about the protest.
Bray said he’s hoping the meeting on Monday will include talks about shutting the protest camp down, but he said he’s learned things like this shouldn’t be forced because the underlying issues remain.