Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

No end to evacuation soon

  • Print

IF there is an end to the evacuation of Lake St. Martin First Nation due to flooding, it certainly isn't within sight.

The reserve near Gypsumville has been almost entirely vacant since the spring of 2011 when floodwaters from the lake of the same name forced residents from their homes.

Repeated floods -- which residents contend were man-made from provincial structures such as the Portage Diversion to protect Winnipeg from flooding -- have damaged more than 80 per cent of the homes beyond repair. More than 1,000 people from Lake St. Martin are living in hotels or rentals in Winnipeg and elsewhere, awaiting a solution.

Disputes between band officials and the federal and provincial governments have left an impasse in efforts to relocate or return residents to their homes.

There are a number of potential options including relocating to higher ground on land the province purchased near the existing reserve, which thus far the community has refused.

They could relocate to an entirely new site about 50 kilometres south but that negotiation is stalled.

Also, an engineering study to look at long-term flood-mitigation possibilities on the existing reserve was recently completed, which could show whether the community can be saved in its current location.

Efforts to temporarily set up most Lake St. Martin families in modular homes near Gypsumville have mostly failed, as only 13 of 60 homes purchased and furnished by the province are occupied. Many residents feared moving there would become a permanent fix and refused.

The provincial and federal governments recently reduced the living allowances paid to evacuees. Until Nov. 1, adult evacuees received $23.40 a day and children $18.70 a day, to cover living costs associated with being out of their homes. Now they receive $4 a day for adults and $3.20 a day for children, as well as rent.

The governments indicated this cut is normal because the situation has gone from an emergency to a long-term recovery, however, critics say the governments are playing hardball.

In addition to Lake St. Martin, there are more than 1,000 evacuees from four other First Nations, including Little Saskatchewan, Pinaymootang, Peguis, Ebb and Flow and Dauphin River.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 6, 2012 A3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Bowman pledges increased support for arts

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two Canada geese fly Wednesday afternoon at Oak Hammock Marsh- Front bird is banded for identification- Goose Challenge Day 3- - Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS June 23, 2011 Local - A Monarch butterfly is perched on a flower  in the newly opened Butterfly Garden in Assiniboine Park Thursday morning.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think the Jets' three pre-season losses in a row are a sign of things to come?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google