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

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One response to “It’s Time to Stand Together

  1. John and Roxane Anderson

    Hello, my husband John and I are members of the Flood Prone Ratepayers of St. Andrews. Our telephone has been ringing from members calling to talk about how a group of farmers on Lake Manitoba blocked the opening of the Portage Garrison last week. The stories of these 2011 Lake Manitoba flood victims, parallels our experiences when Breezy Point was washed out artificially in 2009.

    There is a strange comfort in reliving the injustices, the loss and the horror. We too are fed up and weary from continual artificial flooding. You see, not only can flooding drain bank accounts, it also drains souls. Flooding ebbs against our emotions and rubs these raw. Our group members may each deal with the stresses of flooding differently, but make no mistake, we all understand it.

    So when I heard about the blockade, my immediate reaction was to drag Granddad’s circa 1900 Steam Thrasher cross-country to the battle ground. I wanted to join up and serve justice; to help these flood victims who have nothing left to lose. Besides, there must be some law in some dusty book, maybe under British Common Law, that cites one cannot flood your neighbour.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures and these farmers need to be heard. Our flood group was just as demanding. We looked for answers. We shouted that we wanted plenty of notice when the floodgates would be opened. We wanted a meeting with the Premier, in fact we expected it. We stormed public offices. So when the farmers blocked the garrison, they were just trying to be heard. They wanted someone to hear them. And we did.

    Farmers are not warriors. They are already beaten before even starting. I know. I am a farmer’s daughter. Take a farmer off his land then he will go to war. He is left with no other choice.

    Who can stand by and watch a farmer silently brush away his tears, because he has lost his property to a manmade disaster? We need to help him, not charge him. Farmers have big hearts but even large hearts can break.

    And if you want to know more about that, then just go ask one of these farmers.

    Roxane Anderson
    Breezy Point, St Andrews

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