A retrofitted facility south of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba has drawn the ire of local residents, so I travelled there to check it out for myself.
The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) has changed an existing work camp into a facility capable of handling up to 100 Canadians, should government need arise. Ominous chain-link fence with barbed wire lining the top has been erected around the perimeter of the camp.
Currently the camp sits empty, but should Justin Trudeau move forward on his plan build similar camps nationwide, the MMF could land the contract.
According to MMF official Jack Park “the camps are ready and able to take any affected person by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have them fully equipped, sanitized, and ready to go if anybody ever needs to. Our services are available."
Park also told Portage Online that the barbed wire around the site was no big deal:
“The main reason we wanted to fence those camps was to ensure that we didn't have people coming and going without our knowledge, or wandering around the campgrounds or not. You know, dealing with people that shouldn't be there when we're dealing with a COVID-19 situation.”
“We need to ensure that there are people that we have in that camp are protected. We didn't mean anything negative by it. It was just a safety measure to ensure the people that attend the camp are protected.”