Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ottawa hands Manitoba $50 million for flood costs

  • Print

OTTAWA -- The federal government cut a cheque to Manitoba for $50 million on Monday as an advance toward repairing damage caused by this year's devastating floods.

But it seems likely it's only a drop in the bucket of what both levels of government will now end up spending for flood-related bills.

A spokesman for Premier Greg Selinger said the province estimates the price tag on the floods will top $1 billion.

That is up from a month ago, when Selinger estimated the cost was somewhere around $700 million.

Matt Williamson said it's not entirely clear yet how much of the cost will be eligible for Disaster Flood Assistance, and therefore some federal reimbursement, but the province expects much of it will be.

The DFA program is an agreement between Ottawa, the provinces and territories that sees the wealthier federal government shoulder much of the burden for disasters. The program helps cover evacuation costs, infrastructure repairs and payments to individuals, businesses and farm operators for the loss or damage of essential property.

The program's payments are based on population, with provinces and territories responsible for 100 per cent of the costs up to $1 per capita. Manitoba's population is about 1.25 million, so the province is responsible for approximately the first $1.25 million in flood costs.

After that DFA kicks in, with Ottawa funding 50 per cent of the next $2.5 million, 75 per cent of costs between $4 million and $6.5 million, and 90 per cent of all costs over about $6.5 million.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who announced the advance payment Monday, said in a news release the funds are evidence of the government's commitment to helping people and communities recover after major disasters.

The 2011 floods are expected to be among the most widespread and costly the province has ever seen, likely topping the impact of the 1997 Flood of the Century. That flood resulted in $245 million in DFA-eligible costs, of which Ottawa covered 78 per cent or just under $194 million.

That did not include the $1 billion in cost-shared flood-mitigation programs since 1997, including the $650-million expansion of the Red River Floodway, or $140 million in spending to build and expand ring dikes for communities in the Red River Valley.

Ottawa has already spent more than $63 million this year on flood costs related to First Nations, including the ongoing evacuation of eight reserves. More than 2,100 people are still being housed in hotels because their communities are either uninhabitable or still under water.

Already, more than $23 million has been paid out just for First Nations evacuation costs.

mia.rabson@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 22, 2011 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

Perry Bellegarde elected as national chief of Assembly of First Nations

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local-(Standup photo)- A wood duck swims through the water with fall refections in Kildonan Park Thursday afternoon.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you watch The Interview?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google