Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/6/2012 (3229 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The day after 400 Lake Manitoba flood victims met to discuss a class-action lawsuit against the province, the Selinger government said more than 65 per cent of victims of the 2011 flooding have received at least an initial compensation payment.
Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton said Thursday more than $366.4 million has been paid out by the province so far: $66.4 million under its Building and Recovery Action Program and $314 million under the Disaster Financial Assistance program.
"The compensation that's been paid out, we do not see this as being the final number," Ashton said told reporters. "There's still more to come."
Ashton also said the province wants to speed up compensation by hiring even more property assessors to conduct appraisals of flood-damaged properties. Just a month after bringing in eight new assessors from Quebec, the province will hire four more with the goal of having all appraisals completed by the end of August.
About 50 properties a week are being assessed.
Ashton said one reason for the pace of appraisals is that only now has water receded enough in areas near Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin to allow for safe road access.
"We have areas that are only just beginning to be in the position where we can really get into the recovery stage," Ashton said.
He also said the province has paid out more than $880 million to fight the flood and for recovery efforts. That number should climb to about $1 billion in the coming months.
On Wednesday night, 400 people attended an information session at Sisler High School to discuss the possibility of a class-action lawsuit against the province to win even more in compensation.
Many are residents and cottagers on Lake Manitoba who've complained for months about the cumbersome process to get compensation from the province for the loss of summer homes or the destruction of farm operations.
The Opposition Progressive Conservatives also used a large part of Thursday's question period to blast the government on what it claimed is this slow pace of compensating property owners for flood damages.
Ashton said his flood-recovery update was planned in advance of Wednesday night's meeting.
He also said the province has issued a request for proposals for a flood-mitigation study for the Lake Manitoba watershed, including Lake Winnipegosis, Dauphin Lake and the Shoal Lakes, and the Assiniboine River basin, including Lake of the Prairies and the Qu'Appelle and Souris rivers.
The independent consultant will be asked to identify potential methods for enhanced flood protection in these areas.
Paying for a flood
WHAT the province has paid out to date under the Disaster Financial Assistance program:
4,446 private or individual claims: $59,433,000
Of those, 906 were private claims on First Nations, with 98 per cent of these being inspected by the province.
The other 3,540 were non-First Nation private claims, with 99 per cent being inspected by the province.
Of the 185 public or municipal claims, $105,322,000 has been paid out.
Of the 15 government claims, $149,671,000 has been paid out.
The province expects DFA payments to top $500 million.