Some Manitoba flood evacuees have been getting utility bills for their homes and businesses for months, even though they have not been allowed to return to their communities.
Residents from the Dauphin River First Nation, who were forced to flee their homes this past spring, say they have still been getting electricity and phone bills.
Alex and Marina Letandre, who used to own a tourist camp on the Dauphin River reserve, said they have paid bills that they've recieved from Manitoba Hydro and MTS.
"Roughly $600 for hydro; about $200 [for] MTS," Marina Letandre told CBC News from a Winnipeg hotel room, where she and her husband have been staying for the past eight months.
Members of the Dauphin River First Nation, located about 300 kilometres north of Winnipeg, were moved out after floodwaters washed out their main access road in late-March.
The Letandres and other members have been staying in Winnipeg hotel rooms, as they are not allowed to live on the reserve again until the road is rebuilt.
Billing usually suspended
A First Nation councillor told CBC News that about 60 houses and businesses fall under the province's evacuation order but are still getting their electricity bills.
However, Manitoba Hydro says it generally suspends billing for flood evacuees who do not have access to their homes.
"The period that they're out of their house or can't get into their home their bills are suspended they don't have to pay their electricity bills," Hydro spokesman Glenn Schneider said Thursday.
Hydro customers who are affected by flooding, but still have access to their homes, receive a 50 per cent discount on their power bills until the evacuation order is lifted, Schneider added.
Manitoba Hydro later told CBC News that Dauphin River customers who are under the evacuation order, but have been getting billed, will receive credits on their accounts.
Flood evacuees with any questions about their bills should give the utility a call, according to officials.
Officials with MTS did not comment on Thursday.