Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Flooding victims sue province for $260M

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SIX Lake Manitoba flood victims have launched a $260-million class-action lawsuit against the Manitoba government for what they claim was the deliberate flooding of the lake during the 2011 flood.

The claim was filed this week in Court of Queen's Bench and served on the government. The six are Twin Lakes Beach property owner Fred Pisclevich, farmers Stephen and Shaun Moran, Sunshine Resort owners Alex and Keith McDermid, and flood victim John Howden.

Flood Fight

For the claim to proceed, the six need to first convince a judge to certify the case as a class proceeding.

The six plaintiffs say they're seeking payment to cover the out-of-pocket expenses for flood victims who were evacuated from their cottages, homes and farms during the flood, and to pay for the cost of relocating livestock and for the loss of business income now and into the future. They're also seeking damages for loss of crops, ranchland and to replace damaged property.

"The plaintiffs state that as a result of said arbitrary, deliberate, callous, high-handed and reckless conduct... the plaintiffs have suffered and will continue to suffer enormous damages and losses," the claim says.

They also want a judge to declare that the flooding on Lake Manitoba was "a deliberate and/or reckless action" of the government and not as a result of natural causes. Failing that, they say they'd settle for a declaration that flooding on the lake was "artificial flooding."

They also claim flooding was caused by an excessive amount of water flowing into the lake via the Portage Diversion and that the province failed to do a proper job to forecast the amount of spring flooding on the Assiniboine River.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 22, 2013 A6

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