Manitoba First Nation flood evacuees net $90M-settlement
About 4,000 people from 4 First Nations had to leave communities during 2011 flood
Residents forced out of four flooded-out First Nations will split a $90-million settlement from the Manitoba and federal governments.
Two thousand plaintiffs from Lake St. Martin, Little Saskatchewan, Dauphin River and Pinaymootang First Nations will be compensated after filing a class-action lawsuit against the province and Canada's attorney general, CBC News learned Thursday.
"It has been six years since the flood happened," Clifford Anderson, a plaintiff from Pinaymootang, said in a statement. "It's time for our members, our elders and our young people to move home and move on."
About 4,000 people from the four First Nations had to leave their homes after the flood of 2011. Hundreds were never able to return.
The initial $950-million suit was denied in 2014, but the plaintiffs were granted an appeal in 2015. The case went back to court in the fall of 2016 and the residents pushed forward with the suit again in January of this year.
The terms of the settlement are still being finalized, but all members will receive a basic payment, said co-counsel for the plaintiffs Michael Peerless of McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP. The terms of the deal still have to be approved in court.
"We are very pleased with the settlement, and we commend Manitoba and Canada for entering into good faith negotiations and for ultimately agreeing to the terms with us," Peerless said in a statement.
The settlement includes special payments to certain members for damaged property, to affected families with children born away from home after the evacuation and to the estates of those who have since passed away.
With files from Leslie McLaren