December 12, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
The 2011 Manitoba flood has cost the province $1.025 billion so far, and Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton says the final tally could be at least $250 million higher.
At a press conference this morning, Ashton said much of the additional money will be spent on disaster financial assistance claims.
"This has been a historic effort and it’s not done yet," the minister said.
So far, the province has spent $359 million on agriculture assistance, $289 million on disaster financial assistance, $48 million on the Lake Manitoba Flood Assistance Program, $240 million in flood fighting, mitigation, restoration and flood-proofing and $89 million on an emergency channel and other infrastructure works.
Ottawa has so far advanced the province $100 million in flood payments. Some time ago, the province estimated the federal share could be in the $400 million range. But Ashton said with increasing costs, that number could also grow.
Meanwhile, the province, for the first time, has admitted that landowners downstream from the Shellmouth Dam in western Manitoba were subjected to artificial flooding in 2011 and 2012.
The government said a detailed analysis of the localized flooding will be released shortly. However, it could take months for a compensation program to be worked out.