Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

May 25, 2011 16:28 ET

Governments of Canada and Manitoba Issue Statement Regarding First Nations Affected by Lake St. Martin Flooding

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 25, 2011) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, and the Honourable Eric Robinson, Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, today issued the following statements:

"Over the last several weeks, the Government of Canada has been assisting the Province of Manitoba in the fight to protect people and property from the impacts of flooding," said Minister Duncan. "Since the end of January, federal officials have been working with the 16 First Nations affected by the flooding to develop and, more importantly, implement flood protection plans. One of the communities most impacted is Lake St. Martin First Nation. As a result of the rising levels of Lake St. Martin, residents will be away from their homes for an extended period of time.

Our government is committed to working with the leadership of Lake St. Martin First Nation, the Province of Manitoba and other First Nations in the area to ensure the safety of residents and the protection of property in the communities. We will also be at the table for discussions on longer term solutions," added Minister Duncan.

"Unprecedented flooding has already forced the evacuation of many families from the Lake St. Martin, Little Saskatchewan, Pinaymootang and Dauphin River First Nations," said Minister Robinson. "With levels on Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin expected to rise well into the summer, our government is working urgently with the affected First Nations and the Government of Canada to ensure the immediate needs of the displaced families are met as we accelerate work toward a final long term resolution to chronic community flooding."

The federal and provincial governments agree to work with affected First Nations to:

• Raise protective dikes and to support adequate ongoing pumping capacity;

• Establish suitable temporary housing for evacuated families;

• Fund a two-phase study to immediately determine whether the present location of Lake St. Martin First Nation is viable in the long term, and to assess long term flood mitigation alternatives for communities on Lake St. Martin;

• Repair or replace all flood-damaged houses;

• Restore road access to Dauphin River First Nation;

• Establish a housing trades apprenticeship training program as requested by Lake St. Martin First Nation and in accordance with existing program models; and

• Negotiate fair compensation for affected communities through a modern formal tripartite agreement on flooding and damages related to the operation of the Fairford Water Control Structure.

This statement is also available on the Internet at www.inac.gc.ca.

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michele-Jamali Paquette
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    819-997-0002

    Media Relations
    819-953-1160

    Province of Manitoba
    Matt Williamson
    Associate Director
    Cabinet Communications
    204-945-1494