Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/9/2014 (2118 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Shoal Lake 40 First Nation trumped Selkirk Avenue Tuesday night as North End residents put the plight of the flooded reserve on the civic election campaign agenda for the first time.
About 175 people jammed into the North Centennial Community Centre to talk transit, poverty and housing. But it was Shoal Lake, rendered an isolated island 100 years ago when the Winnipeg aqueduct was built, that earned the most pointed questions.
The forum’s organizers, which included a dozen inner-city and aboriginal groups, asked candidates whether they would re-open negotiations with the band. Several candidates, including Brian Bowman and David Sanders, said they are willing. Sanders said he helped work on the original 1989 deal with the band and all three levels of government that was meant to help the island prosper. At the time, he tried to advocate for Shoal Lake.
Critics say that 1989 agreement, which includes a $6-million trust fund, has largely failed to compensate Shoal Lake for the damage done.
"I think there needs to be a new partnership with the city," said mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis. "It’s part of the bargain to help the community the city flooded."
Though the reserve sits on Winnipeg’s drinking water source, the band has been under a boil water advisory for years. Shoal Lake used last weekend’s opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to draw attention to the legacy of Winnipeg’s aqueduct, which limits the reserve’s economic development opportunities.
The replies from the five mayoral candidates failed to impress Cedar Woman, who raised the issue a second time during the mayoral forum.
"They didn’t answer the question," she said. "They were under-prepared."
Mayoral hopefuls Gord Steeves and Paula Havixbeck did not attend.
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