Millennium Library ‘won’t reopen the same way it closed,’ mayor vows, hinting at more security

Winnipeg’s mayor says the Millennium Library will have more security in place when it reopens — but stopped short of promising to bring back airport-style bag checks and metal detectors at the entrance.

The city’s flagship library has been closed since Sunday, when 28-year-old Tyree Cayer was stabbed to death on the main floor of the downtown facility.

One youth has been charged with second-degree murder in connection to his death, while three others have been charged with manslaughter.

Mayor Scott Gillingham said Thursday the city is looking at a range of security options to place at the library entrance, but none of them involve a return to the status quo.

“I’m committed and my council colleagues are committed to make sure the library does not reopen the same way it closed,” Gillingham said during a break in city council’s December meeting.

“There needs to be other measures in place to ensure that the public can have confidence and our staff can have confidence that it’s a safe place to work in and a safe space to visit.”

Gillingham said it’s possible the library could reopen with temporary security measures until a permanent solution is in place. 

Winnipeg's mayor, standing at a podium.
Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham says the Millennium Library will have more security when it reopens. (Bartley Kives/CBC News)

“I’m open to all options,” he said, but wouldn’t state a personal preference. “I want to be careful at this point not to predetermine what measures may be put in place.”

The mayor also said the library may not reopen by Monday, as initially planned. He said it’s more important to ensure the building is secure.

The union representing most library workers also suggested more security must be in place but declined to specify what those measures would look like.

“Our members have spoken to us loud and clear about what their concerns are,” said Gord Delbridge, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 500

“We want to make sure that the library is accessible for all, still. We want to make sure that everybody’s safe. We want to make sure our members are safe.”

The library removed metal detectors and bag checks following complaints about accessibility.

Gillingham was asked whether he thought the city acted rashly in response to those complaints.

“I don’t know if it was a mistake to remove the added security, but what I do know is we had a homicide in the library,” he said. “The library’s got to be safe.”

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