A Manitoba court will decide in January whether or not to approve an $ 85.5 million settlement between the province and those affected by the floods around Lake Manitoba in 2011.
Under the terms of the agreement, the government will not admit any violation of the water control measures it used during the flood that year, including the activation of the Portage diversion.
The controversial measure sent huge amounts of water into Lake Manitoba in an effort to save those downstream on the Assiniboine River, including the city of Winnipeg.
Lake Manitoba Flood Victims Plan Class Action Lawsuit Against Province
Some of the people with property around the lake told the court that they had never seen floods like that before, or had never been touched by floods before, and they held that the government was liable for the resulting damages.
However, the province responded that much of the flooding would have occurred anyway, except for “short-term artificial flooding in the Lake Manitoba area” that occurred between June 22 and August 30, 2011.
In June 2021, Judge Joan McKelvey found in favor of the first, writing: “I am satisfied that Manitoba, by its actions, caused flooding in areas outside the reservoirs surrounding Lake Manitoba” and “the flooding substantially interfered with the use and enjoyment of the real estate interests of the class. “
As part of the settlement, the government agreed to pay legal fees and other administrative expenses related to the case.
The class action lawsuit, represented by DD West LLP, represents those who owned property or did business within 30 kilometers of Lake Manitoba in 2011, excluding First Nations reserve lands.
The Manitoba government declined to comment on the outcome of the case, as it involves court action, but confirmed that an agreement had been reached.
Flood control works saved the province from disaster in 2011, according to a report
In a press release, DD West LLP says it is impossible to say how much each claimant will receive, as payments will be based on the total number of claims submitted.
DD West LLP adds that members have until December 31 to submit written comments on the proposed settlement, if they so wish.
The settlement approval hearing is scheduled for January 13, 2022 at 10 a.m. by video.
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