The question of whether to search a Winnipeg-area landfill for the remains of at least two Indigenous women suspected of being the victims of an alleged serial killer has been deeply emotional during the past few months.
As family members and supporters continue to push for this search, a new Probe Research survey shows Manitobans are deeply polarized on this issue. A slightly higher proportion of Manitobans (47%) support searching the Prairie Green landfill for the remains of these women, while a near-equal proportion (45%) are opposed. Eight per cent are unsure. Opinions on this are very strong, as an equal proportion (30% each) are either strongly in favour of searching the landfill or are strongly opposed.
There are very deep differences of opinion on this question across the population. Women are much more likely than men to be in favour of searching the landfill, with younger women aged 18-34 being nearly twice as likely as their male counterparts in the same age group to want this search to take place. Support for searching the landfill decreases with age; however, as more than six in ten women aged 35-54 and nearly one-half of those 55+ believe this search should occur. Men – as well as those living outside Winnipeg – are more likely to oppose this search.
There is a clear and deep partisan divide on this issue. Fewer than one in five supporters of Premier Heather Stefanson’s Progressive Conservative party support searching the landfill, compared to nearly three-quarters of provincial NDP supporters and one-half of Manitoba Liberal supporters.
Indigenous Manitobans are more likely to be in favour of going ahead with this search, but even then, there is not unanimity among those who identify as First Nations or Métis. Six in ten Indigenous Manitobans strongly or somewhat support carrying out this search, compared to 46% each among Manitobans of other Racialized backgrounds and non-Indigenous/non-Racialized residents.
About the Probe Research Omnibus
For more than two decades, Probe Research has undertaken quarterly omnibus surveys of random and representative samples of Manitoba adults. These scientific telephone surveys have provided strategic and proprietary insights to hundreds of public, private and not-for-profit clients on a range of social, cultural and public policy topics. The Probe Research Omnibus Survey is the province’s largest and most trusted general population survey.
Probe Research is a member of the Canadian Research Insights Council (CRIC) and confirms that this research fully complies with all CRIC Standards including the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements. Learn more at: https://www.canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/por/
Probe Research surveyed a random and representative sampling of 1,000 adults residing in Manitoba between September 7 and 18, 2023.
With a sample of 1,000, one can say with 95 per cent certainty that the results are within ± 3.1 percentage points of what they would have been if the entire adult population of Manitoba had been surveyed. The margin of error is higher within each of the survey’s population sub-groups.
The sample consists of 535 Manitobans randomly recruited via live-agent operator and 465 Manitobans randomly recruited via Interactive Voice Response (IVR). All respondents completed the survey on an online platform.
Modified random digit dialing, including both landline and wireless numbers, ensured all Manitoba adults had an equal opportunity to participate in this Probe Research survey.
Minor statistical weighting has been applied to this sample to ensure that age and gender characteristics properly reflect known attributes of the province’s population. All data analysis was performed using SPSS statistical analysis software.