Flood compensation to flow to Manitoba First Nations fishermen
Province in talks to set up First Nations emergency operations centre
The Manitoba government says it will offer compensation to First Nation fishermen who lost their docks or could not fish while the Lake St. Martin emergency flood channel was in use.
The province announced Friday that it's earmarking $3.5 million to help cover losses that the Dauphin River and Lake St. Martin fisheries experienced related to the emergency channel's use.
Those losses would include lost income and damage to docks and nets from flooding.
The Interlake region has been consistently hit hardest by flooding in recent years, said Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton, who toured flood-affected areas in the region earlier on Friday.
"We have seen flooding in 2009, 2011 [and] 2014, where once again the most significant impacts have been on First Nations peoples, First Nations communities," Ashton told reporters.
Lake Manitoba is at the flood stage this summer and is expected to crest early next month, said Ashton.
Ashton said the province is in talks with the federal government to establish a First Nations emergency operations centre in the Interlake.
The $5-million centre, which Ashton said would be the first of its kind in Canada, would house flood-fighting equipment such as Tiger Tube dams in the area, in order to speed up response times in First Nations communities.
Provincial Aboriginal Affairs Minister Eric Robinson, who joined Ashton at Friday's announcement, said the two investments are significant and long overdue.