Manitoba’s NDP government agrees to meet with Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee

The Manitoba NDP government has finally agreed to meet with the Lake Manitoba Rehabilitation Committee (LMFRC) on Wednesday, October 16th at 4:00 P.M. A meeting the government promised last April will happen October 16th at the Manitoba Legislature.

The primary issue is the NDP government says farmers around Lake Manitoba received an average $300,000 in 2011 when in fact figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act shows the amount to be about $69,000. Other issues on the agenda include Lake Manitoba water levels, a future channel from Lake Manitoba and other related issues.

 LMFRC obtained financial information through the Freedom of Information Act to verify actual average compensation received by the farmers and ranchers around Lake Manitoba. As indicated above, that value was approximately $69,000.

 LMFRC members will be available for interviews after the meeting. Copies of the financial information received through the Freedom of Information will be available.

 *** Call Harry Siemens at 204.332.0741 day of the meeting to arrange for the interview with one of the committee members.

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Manitoba’s NDP government keeps selling lies and breaking promises

LAKE MANITOBA – Manitoba’s NDP government lied to the media that farmers around Lake Manitoba received $300,000 for compensation on the 2011 flood.

The Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee obtained the actual compensation numbers through the provincial government’s finance department courtesy of the Freedom of Information Act.

“The average payment is about $70, 000,” says Tom Teichroeb, a rancher at Langruth, MB and chair of the LMFRC. “As we are all aware, the NDP government promised a ‘multi-year compensation package’ which they haven’t delivered. They lied about that too.”

Teichroeb says the NDP government promised ongoing support and a meeting with members of LMFRC in the spring of 2013. It is now mid-September and Ashton’s office has stopped communicating breaking yet another promise.
“There is reason to believe the NDP government lied about spending in excess of one billion dollars on the flood,” he says. “When calculating the numbers provided by Manitoba Finance, it is nowhere near that. It is not even close to that. More lies!!”

The LMFRC chair says the lies don’t stop there. NDP premier Greg Selinger promised not to raise taxes in the last election. Once again, he lied and broke his promise. The premier and his NDP government in fact raised the PST by 1 percent, illegally. Raising the PST requires a referendum.

Freedom of Information numbers don’t lie and neither do the facts

The Manitoba NDP government claims farmers around Lake Manitoba received $120 million dollars in 2011 in flood compensation. Further the government claims farmers received an average of $300,000.00 each. This sounds good to those distant from the flood.

“However, Finance Manitoba numbers given to us through Freedom of Information proves this to be a lie,” says Langruth hay farmer Joe Johnson. “Finance Manitoba numbers show the total MASC 2011 Lake Manitoba Flood Assistance program paid out only $101,123,554.00.”

Johnson says the real official numbers show 502 farmers and ranchers shared $34,731,934 for a average payout of $69,187 not $300,000.00 as stated by the Manitoba NDP government. He says it doesn’t stop there. Numbers obtained through Freedom of Information show beach property owners, including permanent and seasonal dwellings inside flood zone in 2011 around Lake Manitoba filed 3,918 claims sharing $66,391,708, making the average payout $16,945.

For more information, contact:
Tom Teichroeb, LMFRC Chair – P: 204-445-2319, C: 204-872-3701 E: a8ranch@mymts.net
Joe Johnson, Hay Farmer – P: 204-445-2265, E:joeandlydiajohnson@gmail.com
Harry Siemens – C: 204-332-0741 E: harry@siemenssays.com

Letter of Support

This government must have suddenly realized that persecuting or trying to prosecute farmers for attempting to defend their own homes and businesses from certain disaster was not a good idea even if it is against the law to defend one`s self in kanada.  A wise person once said “It is better to be judged by twelve than to be carried by six”.  It is no fun being flooded and that resolve needs to be driven home in the minds of this government and anyone who supports them.  It takes years to recover from flooding and sadly some never do, but to think that some beauracrat could throw the switch again on the whim of a politician is a worry that no one should have to live with.They need to obey their own water rights laws and build a system that safeguards everyone
as no one is in the business of storing water for government.  Standing water absorbs nutrients that flushes into lakes and streams and that is what flooding does.  Water is the life blood of the earth and it needs to move for the patient to remain healthy. Flooding has caused land and soil degradation, disease and unwanted species of plants on once productive soils as well as displacing wildlife and causing an influx of beavers that further complicate the problem.

An election is on the horizon and hopefully they can hear the drums of change.
George
 

Letter of Support

We would like to offer a letter of support to the farmers affected by the controversy over the demonstration at Portage.

We understand the frustration of these farmers and support the efforts of those who took time to share the concerns of all of us who have been affected by the 2011 Flood. It has been a long struggle for many producers. BSE, alone, had a huge and long standing impact on many producers. We will never forget 2003. While our son, who loved farm life battled with an aggressive cancer, we, like many others battled with BSE. Unfortunately he lost his battle and we have lost much as a result.

What many people fail to realize is: the 2011 Flood virtually set everyone back when we were hoping to continue making improvements and moving our operations forward. At a time when many of us older farmers were preparing our farms for someone else, mother nature and the powers to be destroyed those dreams. How would many people continue to survive if their livelihoods were continuously impacted in so many ways?

 Simply put: Farmers have been the back-bone of this country for generations.

Something to think about: What would happen if ALL farmers went on strike? Think of the impact! Many people have no concept or understanding of the effort that’s been made to make food and other things derived through agriculture available to them.

Most of us deal with a lot of things that are out of our control. Pride, an undying work ethic and often, pure stubbornness drives us to continue on.

It is often insulting to deal with the mindless comments from others who have their own agendas; without a clear understanding of our situation. Producers are only asking to be treated in a fair manner. This flood situation was not an act of God, nor did we create it! We are only asking for support and compensation for what has been taken away from us.

Many producers were hugely impacted and had to undergo a lot of struggle to maintain their operations and the well-being of their families and animals. Fences, buildings, land, etc. has been destroyed and it will be many years before there is any hope of its return to a healthy state.

Farmers have put their own financial, physical and mental energies to the test to forge ahead. Some had to relocate themselves and their livestock at their own expense. Is this fair? Absolutely not.

We fully support and thank the people whose fortitude and determination has brought the plight of farmers to the forefront!! Kudos to them!

Sincerely,

Ted and Linda Watson 

Manitoba NDP Government Drops Case

May 6, 2013 – Portage la Prairie – The Manitoba NDP government has dropped the case against Jonas Johnson aka Joe Johnson and unknowns in regards to the farmer rally on April 29 in protest of the government deciding to open the Portage Diversion and flow the water down the channel to Lake Manitoba. 

The group protested the opening of the diversion because the government had failed to compensate adequately for the 2011 flood and wanted assurance government build the channel outlet at the north end of Lake Manitoba. 

“There is nothing else against us and nothing to hold us back from holding a rally on Tuesday, May 7 at 10 AM, but at the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature,” said happy Kevin Yuill who helped organize the diversion protest. “We want to keep the pressure on because nothing has changed. We want compensation, the channel at the north end, and the diversion fixed up.” 

When the government opened the diversion, within 30 hours, the heavy flow of water breached a half a mile of the dike, flooding 150 acres of Yuill’s winter wheat and the land of some other farmers. 

During the negotiations, NDP government minister Steve Ashton agreed to a meeting with the group and Yuill wants to know when this meeting will take place Mr. Ashton. 

“We are relieved we don’t have charges against us,” he said. “We made the government back off and more people in the province are now aware of our situation. That is huge, just huge.” 

The deal, a real win for the farmers, was made with the crown, the government will not make any claims for costs and drop the case. 

“We will not interfere with the flow of water and we never were going to,” said Yuill. “They agreed to drop the lawsuit and we agreed not to go for costs.” 

Rally at the Manitoba Legislature

Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 7th

10:00 AM

It’s Time to Stand Together

For more information call:

– Kevin Yuill – 204-856-3258

– Harry Siemens – 204-332-0741 email harry@siemenssays.com

Please let everyone know that the location has been changed. This is very short notice and everyone that was intending on going to the Courthouse needs to know of the changes.

It’s Time to Stand Together

Hello fellow members and friends,

Joe Johnson and Kevin Yuill both received subpoenas to court on Tuesday May 7, 2013 at 10 am, to a preliminary hearing to determine if the government can charge them for their actions at the Portage Diversion on Monday, April 29th.  This hearing comes only one week after the rally.  Some RCMP members were quite surprised the system could schedule a court date so quickly when it often takes months to hold a hearing for more serious crimes. 

The government is accusing those at the Portage Diversion rally of putting points east of Portage and Winnipeg at risk.  The media has reported and we keep hearing many times over how Minister Steve Ashton feels these actions were irresponsible and reckless.  What Minister Ashton fails to recognize is that the organizers of this rally would have left at a moment’s  notice to ensure no one would ever be at risk. The mediators recorded a conversation in that regard.

Many people feel the government is using Lake Manitoba residents as a smokescreen for other issues facing them such as the hike in the PST sales tax by one percent. Is it not irresponsible and reckless to use the real concerns and fears of Lake Manitoba people to divert attention away from their actions and their shortcomings?  Minister Ashton’s actions are unacceptable and the court hearing is bordering harassment, and more…..

We would like to suggest that as many people as possible gather at the courthouse on May 7th in support of the rally at the Portage Diversion.   Lake Manitoba residents need to continue lobbying for fair multi-year compensation and for additional drainage from Lake Manitoba.  The hike in PST is a real issue for all Manitobans and this should not go unmentioned either. The Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee is in favour of a peaceful gathering and insists that committee members are respectful and peaceful in this process.

The hearing:
Date: Tuesday May 7, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM – (arriving at 9:00 AM may draw the media in before the hearing)

Provincial Court, Law Courts Building
Main Floor, 408 York Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0P9
Phone: (204) 945-3454
Fax: (204)945-7130

Parking at the Provincial Courthouse will be a problem and it may be in the best interest of groups to arrange for car pooling or chartering a bus from a common pick-up point outside of Winnipeg.  The time frame is rather short so if you have any suggestions please share them with your local groups.  As of yet, there are no formal arrangements for car pooling or a chartered bus.

Feel free to share this message with others who are in support of the Rally at the Portage Diversion.

Together we are strong,
Tom

Rally at Portage DIversion Control Structure

I wanted to send an update regarding the Rally at the Portage Diversion Control Structure. It was a long day ‘in’ the Portage Diversion for those that attended the rally. Thank-you to everyone that supported the rally. The protest drew the attention of media across the province and more importantly Minister Ashton.

Late last night the group of protestors negotiated with RCMP mediators for a urgent meeting with Minister Ashton. They are also urging Premier Selinger to attend. As part of the negotiations, the protestors have left the Portage Diversion and have removed the farm equipment. The protestors were not charged and left the site peacefully.

Arrangements for the negotiated meeting were to be made this morning and it is expected that this meeting will take place this week. RCMP mediators indicated that the terms of negotiation would be upheld. News media has offered to be present at the meeting and record the proceedings.

Although Minister Ashton was able to portray the protestors as irresponsible, there was a significant amount of support from the media and the public. Is it irresponsible to put the people around Portage and Winnipeg in jeopardy but not irresponsible to continue to put people around Lake Manitoba in harms way? Food for thought.

Stay tuned for more information.
Tom