News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

February 18, 2014

MANITOBA ADVANCES PACKAGE TO HELP GET FAMILIES DISPLACED BY 2011 FLOOD BACK HOME TO SAFER, BETTER-PROTECTED COMMUNITIES


Comprehensive Offer Would Address Past, Future Issues Related to Operation of Fairford Control Structure: Minister Robinson

The Government of Manitoba has set aside $100 million in 2013-14 as part of negotiations toward a comprehensive final settlement package that would address all past and future claims related to the operation of the Fairford River Water Control Structure that flows into Lake St. Martin, Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson announced today, adding that ensuring families displaced by unprecedented flooding in 2011 can return home to safer, better-protected communities would be a critical step toward a final settlement.

“The devastating 2011 flood was on a scale never before seen in Manitoba, and the hardest-hit families have been away from their home communities for far too long,” said Minister Robinson.  “Many of these same families have had to endure decades of chronic flooding.  This is an important step forward in ensuring they are able to return to homes that are safe from the threat of future flooding as we seek a fair resolution of historical claims for flooding dating back to the construction of the Fairford control structure in 1961.”

The negotiating framework for final settlement packages outlines flood mitigation measures, replacement lands and compensation for damages and infrastructure.  It is being offered to cover past and future flooding for the four First Nations downstream of the Fairford control structure:  Lake St. Martin, Little Saskatchewan, Dauphin River and Pinaymootang.  According to federal figures, of the 1,888 Manitoba First Nation residents still displaced by the 2011 flood, over 1,600 are from these four communities.

Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton noted that Manitoba has already built an emergency channel out of Lake St. Martin and plans to make that channel permanent.

“For the first time in more than half a century, families living around Lake St. Martin will have the certainty of permanent flood protection in their traditional territory,” said Minister Ashton.  “We will also soon be able to finally correct the historical imbalance in Manitoba’s flood control system that adversely impacted these four communities.”      

Minister Robinson noted that his federal counterpart, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt, has made a corresponding commitment to a federal contribution toward addressing the four First Nations issues relating to the Fairford River Water Control Structure.

 

- 30 -