A family from Steinbach is questioning why a memorial has to be removed, which pays respect to their lost loved one.

The body of Ryan Maynard was found on April 12th off Hespeler Street. Shortly after, his family erected a cross near that site. The cross has his name on it and includes a wreath. 

Allison Zaporozan is the girlfriend of Maynard's cousin. She says the memorial site is visited nearly every day by family and friends, including Maynard's mother and daughter. However, she says the city informed them that the cross must be taken down by October 31st. 

Zaporozan says though there was nothing in writing, the family was under the impression that the cross could be left up permanently and even had a concrete base built for it. She notes the city has now told her that the cross is a hazard for snow removal. 

"This is very, very hard on us," she says. "We are devastated that we have to take it down because that's where we go visit him, that's where he was found."

The memorial was built by Zaporozan's father-in-law. She says Maynard was a close friend of hers. Zaporozan says she cannot imagine losing a child and then being told to take down the cross. 

Zaporozan says this is especially difficult on Maynard's mother.

"Ryan's Mom is having a very, very hard time," she says. "She can't even come to remove the cross, she is just devastated."

Zaporozan says she is not ready to back down without a fight. She says she already has a number of people who have signed her petition asking the city to reconsider its position. 

"I'm really trying hard to fight to keep it up," she adds. "The family does not want to let go of it. It's not fair."

Zaporozan says it has not even been a year since Maynard's passing. She says the memorial, which symbolizes him, is not on private property and is not bothering anyone. 

Zaporozan says they are nearing the one-year anniversary of Maynard's passing, which is November 20th. They are also getting closer to his 31st birthday on December 31st. 

Meanwhile, the city of Steinbach has chosen not to comment on this issue.


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