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Protesters remain at Lake St. Martin diversion

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A small group of protestors upset over lack of compensation and oversight say they will stay put at the Lake St. Martin diversion.

Seven people camped out at the site last night following meetings with First Nation chiefs that lasted most of the day Monday.

Flood Fight

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"Grand Chief Derek Nepinak and AFN (regional) chief Bill Traverse came out but no government officials," texted Derrick Gould, a fisherman and a councillor from Pinaymootang First Nation as the group bedded down in tents before midnight.

Protestors shut down work on the channel Sunday night.

"We are still occupying the site and we will be there until we are treated as equal Manitobans and consulted properly," Gould texted.

As campers settled in for the night, fishermen pulled their nets to avoid damage from debris in the water.

Prior to the protest, area residents voiced concerns in a meeting with provincial officials.

Infrastructure Minister Steve Ashton told reporters Monday during a flood update that talks will continue, but the province is also considering use of law enforcement to remove the protestors so the channel can be fully opened up.

Cell service is spotty in the Interlake area where the province sent construction crews to open up the emergency flood diversion to channel flood waters through Lake St. Martin.

Protestors first heard about plans to open up the diversion channel on July 2 by a fax sent to the four First Nations in the area. It advised them of the work, but left the communities with no say in the matter.

As of this spring, nearly 2,000 people remained displaced three years after the 2011 flood devastated the area.

 

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