(WINNIPEG, Manitoba) July 26, 2011 – Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton met with the Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee on Tuesday to discuss the emergency channel to lower the levels of Lake St. Martin and Lake Manitoba. Ashton says the channel route, from Lake St. Martin through Big Buffalo Lake and on to the Dauphin River, is the best option in terms of timeline and payoff.
“The key to Lake St. Martin is Lake St. Martin. The key to Lake Manitoba is Lake St. Martin. This channel will give immediate relief as soon as it’s accomplished,” says Ashton.
While the LMFRC is relieved to see an announcement from the province, members say the plan is overly optimistic, as it is based on optimal conditions of several factors.
“They’re assuming meeting their deadline of November 1, perfect weather, no excess moisture, and no flooding next year,” says Joe Johnson, LMFRC Co-Chair. “That’s a lot to ask of Mother Nature. There are more options to explore. There are generations of knowledge in this area and we urge the province to engage us and work with us.”
The LMFRC hopes for more collaboration and consultation with the government during construction of the channel and the duration of the flood.
The Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee represents all 11 municipalities surrounding Lake Manitoba. It gives voice to the urgent needs of all residents and businesses for an immediate solution to the flooding. It seeks adequate and inclusive compensation for the rehabilitation of land, businesses and residential properties damaged by the man-made flooding of Lake Manitoba.