Manitoba grand chief says $85.5M settlement for flood damage is fair

WINNIPEG — The grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says the latest court settlement for property owners affected by devastating flooding more than a decade ago is fair.

The Manitoba government diverted water from the Assiniboine River to reduce the risk of flooding in Winnipeg in 2011, but the water built up and caused damage on the shores of Lake Manitoba.

Last week, courts approved an $85.5 million settlement agreement for anyone who had businesses or owned personal property like cabins — excluding First Nation reserves — that was flooded.

The courts approved a separate $90-million payout three years ago for members of four First Nations that were flooded out.

Some communities were unable to ever return.

Grand Chief Arlen Dumas says the province must pay for what he called its negligence, and adds the effects of the flooding are still being felt.

Dumas is urging the province to hold talks with Indigenous communities to speed up construction of outlet channels to prevent future flooding.

The Canadian Press