News Release - Manitoba
FLOOD 2011 BUILDING AND RECOVERY ACTION PLAN UNVEILED– – –
$175-million Plan One of Manitoba's Largest Flood-fighting, Recovery Efforts Ever: Selinger
Premier Greg Selinger today announced the creation of the Flood 2011 Building and Recovery Action Plan, a three-part strategy to build for the future, strengthen communities, and help families and producers.
“Our priority is helping families, businesses and communities deal with the flood and come out of this stronger,” said Selinger. “The Building and Recovery Action Plan is focused on flood mitigation, economic recovery, infrastructure renewal and compensation.”
This year’s flooding is a natural disaster without precedent, noted the premier. Manitoba has seen historic floods of record at many points along the Assiniboine River and its watershed, and lake levels continue to rise. The city of Brandon has experienced a record 1-in-300-year flood.
“The geographical scope of this flood is beyond anything we’ve seen before. Families, businesses and producers through large parts of our province are pulling together to cope with the water,” said Selinger. “I gave Manitoba families my word: they won’t face this flood alone. Today we’re delivering with some much-needed help.”
The premier also noted that the Government of Canada has been an important partner in the fight against this flood, providing strong support through the Canadian military and the national Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements.
The prime minister has committed to cost-share critical permanent pre-flood mitigation costs and to work with all provinces and territories to develop a new long-term national disaster mitigation program, said Selinger. He added that, further to his recent discussions with the prime minister concerning the need for a special compensation program this year, details of the Flood 2011 Building and Recovery Action Plan are being shared with the federal government for review and consideration of possible federal participation.
BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE
The Building and Recovery Action Plan will strengthen the province and the ability of local communities to cope with future floods by expanding mitigation and flood control projects, said Selinger.
The projects will include:
- Modernization of the Shellmouth Dam control structure and the addition of spillway gates to improve flood-protection capacities.
- Construction of flood protection, in consultation with the City of Brandon, up to a 1-in-300-year level.
- Major rehabilitation and modernization of the Portage Diversion river-control structure.
- Repair of and making permanent the Assiniboine River dikes built over the winter between Portage and Baie St. Paul.
- Assessment of alternatives to enhance the capacity of the Assiniboine River, Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin flood-control systems including options to increase outflow from Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin.
- Extension of the community diking program for an additional two years to build more dikes including in the Assiniboine basin.
- Expansion and extension of the province’s Individual Flood Mitigation Program to help more families and businesses protect their homes and property.
With water levels continuing to rise on Lake Manitoba, municipalities, and home and cottage owners around Lake Manitoba will have access to significant financial support to hire engineers to identify effective flood proofing measures, said the premier.
Financial support of up to 90 per cent of the cost of raising or moving homes and cottages on Lake Manitoba to protect against damage from flooding and storms will also be available (to a maximum of $20,000).
HELPING FAMILIES AND PRODUCERS
To cope with this year’s unprecedented flooding, extraordinary steps were taken to protect homes and property in the Assiniboine River basin including the controlled release of water at the Hoop and Holler Bend and the diversion of water above and beyond normal capacity to Lake Manitoba. As a result, the Building and Recovery Action Plan will provide special assistance in these unique circumstances, said Selinger
Hoop and Holler Compensation Program
- 100 per cent support for families, businesses and producers in the controlled release area and area of the Portage Diversion to restore their homes and property to pre-flood conditions.
- Compensation for expenses including lost wages incurred as a result of protecting and restoring property from flood damage.
- Compensation for employment and business income loss. Compensation may be extended for expected business-income losses in future years.
- Families, businesses and producers in the controlled release area and area of the Portage Diversion will be contacted by provincial officials to provide program details and assist with completing compensation applications.
Lake Manitoba Financial Assistance Program
- Financial assistance for families with rented or owned year-round homes will be covered for actual expenses incurred to protect property to a maximum of $10,000 as well as reasonable expenses for restoring property to its original condition. Support will be available with a reduced copayment of 10 per cent, down from 20 per cent, to a maximum of $200,000. Financial assistance will be provided to families with cottages that are not a primary residence for repairs to structural damage. A 10 per cent copayment will be applied up to a total provincial contribution of $90,000.
- Copayments may be waived if permanent flood protection is put in place.
Lake Manitoba Pasture Flooding Assistance Program
- Financial assistance for producers to remain in business by helping with costs to rent alternative pastures or feeding sites and transporting feed and livestock.
- Financial assistance for livestock damage to pastures and livestock infrastructure.
- Financial assistance for damage and lost yield on tame forage and annual crop land.
- Financial assistance for reseeding land affected by flooding.
- Cash advances will be available under each of these programs.
Lake St Martin Area Assistance
First Nations around Lake St. Martin are experiencing record high water levels as a result of maximum outflows from Lake Manitoba. The Manitoba government is committed to a good-faith negotiating process with affected First Nations and the Government of Canada to address impacts. The province has already committed to:
- Assist with the raising of protective dikes and establishment of suitable temporary housing for displaced families.
- Fund a two-phase study to immediately determine whether the present location of Lake St. Martin First Nation is viable in the long term and to assess long-term flood mitigation alternatives for other communities on Lake St. Martin.
- Restore road access to Dauphin River First Nation and provide business income-loss compensation to commercial fishers in affected communities who are unable to access fishing and processing facilities.
- Negotiate fair compensation for affected communities through a modern formal tripartite agreement on flooding and damages related to operation of the Fairford water control structure.
In recognition of the immense scale and scope of this year’s flood, with vast overland flooding affecting areas from The Pas to the U.S. border and from Saskatchewan to eastern Manitoba, the Building and Recovery Action Plan will provide new supports to communities to rebuild infrastructure and stimulate economic activity including:
- Advances of up to 60 per cent or $100,000, whichever is greater, of repair costs will be made to municipalities against disaster financial assistance claims. These advances, along with the improvement of a $5 per-capita cap on municipal cost sharing introduced in 2009, will allow municipalities to more quickly restore roads and other infrastructure.
- Economic Recovery Grants of up to $100,000 will help municipalities and qualifying organizations in the Assiniboine Basin, around Lake Manitoba and the Interlake restore economic activity, encourage community engagement and support economic diversification strategies.
Preliminary discussions have already occurred with the City of Brandon and $100,000 has been earmarked to assist with economic recovery programming in recognition of the flood's serious impacts on local business.
“With each flood, we learn from the experience. We look for better ways to protect families and their homes and we invest in better mitigation for the next flood,” said Selinger. “That’s why after the 1997 flood, we expanded the floodway and that’s why now, we’re taking immediate steps to review and improve our flood mitigation systems.”
The premier also announced the Manitoba government will appoint an appeals commissioner to promptly and fairly deal with any appeals that may arise under the Flood 2011 Building and Recovery Action Plan.
The provincial government has also committed to a disaster financial assistance program in response to this year’s flood. Application forms and further details about the program are available online at www.manitobaemo.ca or by contacting the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization at 204‑945‑3050 or 1-888-267-8298 (toll-free). Applications are also available at most municipal offices.
- Economic Stimulus Program - Assiniboine River Watershed
- Flood Mitigation Program
- Hoop and Holler Bend Compensation Program
- Lake Manitoba Financial Assistance Program
- Programs for Livestock Producers
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