Some Manitoba farmers who held a protest at the Portage Diversion last week have reached an agreement with the provincial government, meaning they won't face court action.
Kevin Yuill and Joe Johnson were part of a group that parked tractors and other equipment in the diversion channel on April 29 to delay operation of the structure, which diverts flood water from the Assiniboine River to Lake Manitoba.
The province obtained a court injunction that day to have the protesters removed from the site, saying the 12-hour protest put other communities along the river at risk of ice jams and flooding.
The government was seeking an extension of the injunction, which was set to expire on Tuesday, in a bid to keep the group away from the Portage Diversion.
The case was scheduled to be heard in a Winnipeg courtroom on Tuesday morning, and Yuill and Johnson had received subpoenas summoning them to attend.
But Yuill told CBC News late Monday that his group has agreed not to block the operation of the Portage Diversion until late July. In exchange, the province would drop its court proceedings, he said.
In a news release, the group said the agreement it has reached with the Crown is "a real win for the farmers."
As of Monday night, the province has not confirmed if an agreement was reached.
Farmers seek compensation
The farmers have been demanding adequate compensation for damages their properties sustained in the 2011 flood, when water flowing through the Portage Diversion flooded their lands.
The group has claimed that farmers were promised multi-year compensation for damages from that flood. They are also seeking assurances that the province would build a channel outlet at the north end of Lake Manitoba.
The protest ended when the farmers agreed to remove their equipment in exchange for a meeting with the province. The group says it's still waiting to hear when that meeting will take place.
The province has said water from the breach flooded some Crown land near Yuill's property, but Yuill said the water flooded 150 acres of his winter wheat as well as some other farmers' lands.
Days after the protest, the government introduced a bill that would give it more power to crack down on individuals who ignore evacuation orders or impede the operation of flood control structures.
The bill proposes, among other things, fines of up to $10,000 for people who block the operation of a flood control structure.
"It troubles me when they're worrying about doing some legislation like that, and yet they haven't done one single thing to prevent us from getting flooded," said Yuill.
"I mean, right after our protest they flooded me again, and there was no need for that. Why are they wasting taxpayers' dollars doing this stuff?"
Yuill said the farmers are still planning to hold a rally Tuesday morning outside the Manitoba legislature. The rally will begin at 10 a.m.