Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Manitoba flood victim appalled by appeals for Alberta

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DAVID Turman wasn't feeling very charitable when asked at a local Princess Auto outlet to donate a dollar to victims of the Alberta floods.

In fact, he was furious.

The reason? Turman himself is a victim of a recent flood disaster and said nobody raised money for him when he was in need. Tarman's cottage was damaged in 2011 floods that hit large parts of Manitoba.

He said the area where his cottage is located, Lake St. Martin, had about seven cottages wiped out. Mould damaged his cottage, costing him about $40,000 and making it uninhabitable, he said. So far, he's got about $20,000 from the government, but it's been very slow coming.

"They say that my place is repairable, and I had a mould inspector say that it's written off, so I'm in a fight with them about that," he said.

Even as the flood was going on, Turman said he got no support from the rural municipality or government.

"We were basically left to sink. It's such a whole despicable story," he said.

Considering the little support he had, Turman said he doesn't understand why Albertans deserve better.

"We never got that kind of support here by any of the businesses to say, 'Would you contribute towards the Manitoba flood?' but they're asking for Albertans. I find that very appalling," he said.

Turman said he understands his opinion might not be popular, especially with people who have Alberta connections, but it doesn't change how he feels.

"I understand it's an emergency situation, but I don't think the Albertans were asked the same questions we were," he said. "Why are we helping a rich province like that?"

Paul Wilson, president of Princess Auto, said the company did collect money for Manitoba flood victims, and he's not sure why Turman hadn't heard about it. He said Turman's is probably the only negative comment they've received from the public.

"Actually we were pointed to Alberta by our customers across Canada asking what they can do," he said.

Turman said he stands by his opinion.

"For us to be contributing to (Alberta) is kind of a slap in the face for us," he said.

He said many other people whose cottages were damaged in the 2011 flood won't return to the area. He is unsure whether he'll return either.

"I'm still up in the air. It's kind of a hit-and-miss whether I want to go back there with no flood protection, and I've really not gotten enough money to rebuild."

oliver.sachgau@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 27, 2013 A8

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