$90-million Manitoba flood payout on hold over fake claims - APTN NewsAPTN News

$90-million Manitoba flood payout on hold over fake claims


One of the on-reserve homes flooded intentionally in 2011.

Kathleen Martens
A multi-million dollar flood settlement has stalled after some evacuees claim people are making false claims to get money they don’t deserve, APTN News has learned.

Lawyer Sabrina Lombardi said a Court of Queen’s Bench judge will be asked later this month to reopen the application process for compensation for personal property.

The step is needed to determine who is a real claimant and who is not, Lombardi confirmed in a telephone interview from McKenzie Lake law firm in Toronto.

“We will tell the court we hoped the payments would be starting to flow by now but we’ve had this hiccup,” she explained.

“The class members were very concerned that…there were people…that maybe either weren’t proper members of the four First Nations or weren’t really ever residing on reserve.”

The $90-million settlement won from the Manitoba and federal governments was to be distributed by the end of 2018 but now Lombardi said that won’t happen until the spring of 2019.

“It’s not necessarily true that everybody that put forward a claim is eligible,” she said.

“The two criteria they had to show was membership in one of the four First Nations and the fact that they resided in Manitoba in 2011.”

The delay affects up to 7,000 people from Pinaymootang (Fairford), Little Saskatchewan, Dauphin River and Lake St. Martin, she said.

People in those communities had their lives disrupted – and some remain in limbo – after the Manitoba government diverted floodwater to spare more serious damage in the nearby capital of Winnipeg.

Area farmland and lakefront cottages were also destroyed.

Flood victims sued the provincial and federal governments for damages after compensation was denied.

The settlement was approved by a judge in January 2018 and applies to personal belongings – not communal property like housing, infrastructure and land.

Compensation for those larger community losses is still being discussed.

“Until we can determine who is, in fact, eligible to receive the money we obviously can’t dole it out,” Lombardi added, “and so we’re going back to the court.

“There’s a large number of people whose claims aren’t complete enough to make a determination on.”

She said a judge will be asked to approve the move that will ask claimants to re-submit claim forms and supporting documents.

Eligible adults would receive “disruption payments” of between $42,000 and $67,000 while children would get 10 per cent of that.

Still, being asked to wait longer is more hardship for flood victims, said Grant Louis of Little Saskatchewan.

“People are still affected by this flood,” he said, listing problems like “sickness, poverty, depression, loneliness and addiction.

“Low-income families are stressing and these payments would really help out.”

Lombardi didn’t know how many claims were fake but said claimants would see more money in the end because of interest accruing on the money in the meantime.


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4 Responses to “$90-million Manitoba flood payout on hold over fake claims”

  1. l_woodhouse@outlook.com'
    Lester January 7, 2019 at 6:40 pm #

    Lester Woodhouse. I’m treaty to Fairford , there a lot of people making false claims that are not entitled to any money compensation, there were people that made stories of being flooded and people were receiving assistance from Red Cross who were not entitled to any assistance and some who still are , who should not be entitled to any

  2. beartrack@shaw.ca'
    Ron Dare January 6, 2019 at 5:16 pm #

    There’s plenty more to this story and no one is interested in it. My wife and I ran a hunting camp on Lake St. Martin and were flooded out of business in 2011. The forest sat under water till December then again in the following spring. Again we could operate our business. The forest died from flooding and suffocating under the water. The animals left and we were forced to sell what was left of our business which was 1/2 our family income. Nothing offered to us and we suffer financially now.

  3. metisojicreegirl@gmail.com'
    Cailee Gouthro January 5, 2019 at 7:55 pm #

    Do you need donations or supplies? I would like to help in whatever way I can.

  4. Brownsuga183@gmail.com'
    Samantha January 5, 2019 at 7:39 am #

    Thats crazy. But I know a few members that are getting flood money, rent paid yet they werent even living on the reserve or even had a house in the reserve, they lived in Winnipeg but was collecting welfare out there.. Also another member was issuing fake rent checks for a lot of members in order to receive rent money checks.