APTN National News
It’s been nearly two years but thousands of First Nation flood evacuees are still waiting to go home and people are asking one question of the Manitoba government – what are they prepared to do?
Lake St. Martin residents were evacuated to Winnipeg and Chief Adrian Sinclair says the flood that destroyed their community was manmade.
“Those are the issues we’re here to address with the premier, the manmade flooding they caused to surrounding communities to save Winnipeg and southern Manitoba by flooding the surrounding First Nations reserves. That is why we’re here today. To get our voices heard,” said Sinclair.
Many people came to the Manitoba legislature to press the provincial government to get moving on promises, the get people back home.
“People are still displaced and we want awareness on the issue. People are forgotten. People are stressed and depressed and want to go home. They don’t want to live in the city anymore,” said Lake St. Martin resident Myrle Ballard.
But Premier Greg Selinger said his government is doing all it can and he’s already offered temporary housing or a hotels until permanent solutions can be found.
“It’s a choice people make. If they want to be in temporary housing on a site or if they want to be elsewhere that’s their choice as well. We’re making sure that people are safe and taken care of and children are getting their education wherever they’re located,” said Selinger.
That falls flat according to opposition parties.
“The premier owes the people of Lake St. Martin…an apology for the fact they were flooded last year, artificialy, in order to save other people,” said Liberal leader Jon Gerrard.
As APTN National News reporter Melissa Ridgen reports the people are faced with only one option – wait until they get to go home.