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Reserve blames officials for lack of flood defences

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grumpy old man

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By: Bartley Kives

A First Nation south of Winnipeg claims it isn't ready for a flood this spring and lays the blame on federal and provincial authorities.

But Ottawa and Manitoba are sounding no such alarms about emergency preparedness at Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation.

Roseau River flood co-ordinator Howard Nelson said Monday his First Nation has not been able to shore up two "weak spots" on a ring dike that surrounds the community of Ginew, which sits at the confluence of the Red and Roseau rivers, about 80 kilometres south of Winnipeg.

It will only take five days and about $40,000 to move earth over the weak spots, located at the north and southeast corners of the community, Nelson said. But no contractor will do the work because the First Nation has no funds available until the end of this week, he said.

"We can't do anything right now," said Nelson, claiming Indian and Northern Affairs Canada will not release the money until Friday.

"The bottom line is INAC's unco-operative practice of not releasing money prevents us from doing preparatory work. Other municipalities have been at this since November," Nelson said.

But Indian and Northern Affairs Canada said there is nothing wrong with Roseau River's ring dike. The community has emergency plans for sandbagging, evacuation, and if necessary, opening ditches and culverts to redirect water, INAC spokeswoman Ellen Funk said in a statement.

"The dike around the community is in good working order, with sound structure and in good working condition," Funk said, adding INAC will spend a total $107,000 this year on Roseau River flood protection, includingsandbag filling and culvert steaming.

"Officials are making plans to visit the community this week," she said. More money may be advanced to Roseau River "as needs are assessed," she said.

Nelson also claimed the province has ignored his community. But a spokesman for Manitoba Water Stewardship said provincial officials have toured Roseau River and will assist the First Nation if INAC requests the province's help.

Roseau River has filled 6,000 sandbags and will have no problem filling 1,500 more before the Red and Roseau rivers rise significantly, Nelson said.

During the 2009 flood, most Ginew residents -- about 750 people -- were evacuated to Winnipeg as a precaution. The ring dike held, but about 30 properties had basement flooding, he said. The community will be evacuated again this year if the ring dike is not shored up, he he said.

Given average weather conditions in the next two to three weeks, the Red River will crest 1.3 to 2.3 feet higher this spring than in 2009, provincial flood forecaster Philip Mutulu said last week.
After dropping gradually in the past few weeks, the Red began to rise during the past weekend. In Winnipeg, it rose more than a foot between Friday and Monday.

On Monday evening, the Red stood at 5.8 feet above normal winter ice levels at the James Avenue monitoring station. The 2009 flood crested at 22.6 feet James and forecasters are expecting a similar crest late in April.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 29, 2011 A7


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It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

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Maybe a major flood would solve a lot of problems......like it would wash away dem blues....and they could start fresh in Lake Winnipeg.

grumpy old man

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Here we go round the Mullbery bush...

This is how the chiefs play the game. Every year for, well, forever, there has been the threat of flooding. Yet this icewhole seems surprised and is not ready for this years' flood.

So of course it's a last minute scramble, forcing the deep pockets, taxpayers, to cough up the coin or else reap the "rewards".

Give them the $40k but subtract it right off the top of this year's welfare payment to that reserve.


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It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

holly golightly

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Nelson, possibly a relative to Chief Terry??? Coincidence, I think not...

And it is "our" fault that the reserve is out of money until the end of the week!!! Oh My is all I can say. Hopefully whoever is elected to federal government this May 2nd will have the foresight to just let these people float off in the twilight and fend for themselves.


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Deank

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flood is a few weeks away anyway so I dont see the problem. wait one week.. get work done.


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Deank

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also..

nippers must be out campaigning.. somehow I dont have any negative comments on a freep comment I posted

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/reserve-blames-officials-for-lack-of-flood-defences-118826254.html


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grumpy old man

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I don't see a Deank post there...


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Yes, I really am that Grumpy...

It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

Deank

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DeanK is not my full name....

(click view all comments)


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Posted by: Dean Koshelanyk

March 29, 2011 at 9:30 AM



". But no contractor will do the work because the First Nation has no funds available until the end of this week, he said."

and with good reason. Few contractors are willing to do any work on the reserves without the money up front because for some reason they dont have the legal right to take the reserves to court if they fail to pay. Too many contractors have been burned by unscrupulous leaders in the past and are no longer will to take the risk. Seems the simplest and quickest and most permanent solution would be for the reserve to buy their own equipment and train their own people. Gives them the added benefit of having a business that can continue to make money for the reserve when not working on the reserve.

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grumpy old man

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That's our experience. We must have a sizable chunk of the contract paid in advance else we don't take the job...


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Yes, I really am that Grumpy...

It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

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Even that's a dangerous position.

Personally, I wouldn't do any work on a reserve unless I was completely paid in advance.

I've heard that, in some cases, the is a deliberate attempt to get work done with only having to pay the deposit. They have no intention of paying the balance.

Outsider

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JTF wrote:


Posted by: Dean Koshelanyk

March 29, 2011 at 9:30 AM



". But no contractor will do the work because the First Nation has no funds available until the end of this week, he said."

and with good reason. Few contractors are willing to do any work on the reserves without the money up front because for some reason they dont have the legal right to take the reserves to court if they fail to pay. Too many contractors have been burned by unscrupulous leaders in the past and are no longer will to take the risk. Seems the simplest and quickest and most permanent solution would be for the reserve to buy their own equipment and train their own people. Gives them the added benefit of having a business that can continue to make money for the reserve when not working on the reserve.

That is one question I have been asking myself for a long time.
"Why don't the chiefs encourage their people to be come trade persons, doctors, nurses, mechanics., accountants, lawyers, carpenters, plumbers, etc., etc."
Wouldn't having doing these jobs "in-house" go a long long way to self-government and self-sufficiency?
Too many people are falling into the lotteries and casinos trap to create employment and income.
Sooner or later everyone is going to smarten up and stop p*ssing their money away on lottery tickets and casinos.
And its going to be real interesting when that happens.
/end rant

grumpy old man

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Totally. It just makes so much sense. Educate and train the residents themselves. That's how most successful small rural towns develop isn't it? What's the difference?


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It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

Deank

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The more successful reserves do just that. They encourage their residents to take training in such items and even help them to set up their own business and such and then pay them to do the things they used to pay outside contractors to do. The most unsuccessful ones just refuse to even think about it, my best guess is because then they are no longer dependent on the chief and council.


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Can it be that the chiefs already have that covered with their own people and/or interests?

Businesses set up on reserves are usually set-up by the chief or his cronies/family.

Let's never forget that reserves are corrupt little entities.

grumpy old man

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GYPSUMVILLE, Man. - About 30 people from a First Nation nearly 300 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg are being temporarily relocated as a precaution because of possible flooding.

The evacuees — including seniors, the sick and young families — live on the Dauphin River First Nation, a community of 285 people at the junction of the Dauphin River and Lake Winnipeg.

The Manitoba Association of Native Firefighters says in a release that those included in the evacuation are being sent to Winnipeg, or to stay with family and friends in safe regions of the province.

The association says it's also stockpiling thousands of sandbags and bringing in extra resources to deal with a potentially high flood risk in a number of First Nations communities in Manitoba's Interlake region.

The association, which provides emergency services to Manitoba’s 63 First Nations, is also surveying potential trouble spots along other waterways, including the Red, Assiniboine and Souris rivers.

Provincial officials have said that with average precipitation between now and the snowmelt, Manitoba will experience substantial flooding.
I notice the reserves tend to be evacuate peeps to Winnipeg. Hotels.

Hmmmmm. How come most people in other evacuated communities in Canada and the United States get evacuated to safe nearby schools and arenas and community centres?

I wonder... who pays for the hotels?


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It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

Deank

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On that same note.

The evacuations are far from pleasant. Other then a waterslide there is nothing to do for the people evacuated. Their meals are limited to certain dietary constraints and there is really no where for them to gather. HELL a couple years back the local LC was somehow illegally refusing to sell to the evacuees just because where they were from.

So in the end it really makes no sense at all. I mean sure, there is no gym available because most areas are still using them and such but the reality is that it would make far more sense for manitoba to build a couple of evacuation centres one in the south and one in the north. complete with a gym and a school area and sleeping quarters.


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grumpy old man

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I don't buy for a second that "most people" find the evacuations to a hotel in Winnipeg unpleasant.

Free accommodations. Free meals. WTF?


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It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

Deank

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The first week is awesome... after that.. well.. you try going on a vacation with no money at all.


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grumpy old man

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Use the money they would pay for meals on stuff. Not everything costs money either. Ask for help! Heck, what do people that LIVE here do when they are broke?


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It's their, they're and there; in Canada it's colour, cheque, rumour and zed...

Deank

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they dont get money for food. They are simply allowed to order X from the hotel restaurant

" Ask for help! Heck, what do people that LIVE here do when they are broke?"

not sure what you are asking... the people that live here can go to food banks (and cook food in their house/rented accomodations) or they can sign up for things at a local CC for activities and such.

not many CCs right down town or generally within walking distance of the hotels these guys get put in.

Seriously GOM, its sucks a$$ that we are paying for these guys to stay in Winnipeg Hotels.. I hate that as an expense.. but it aint the grand luxurious time that people think it is.

HELL! just staying with my family in a hotel room for 1 week is bad enough when on vacation ( ie no rooms to just go do my own thing in) never mind the two or more weeks that sometimes happens.


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Can it be the flood protection was left poorly maintained just so that everyone gets a free holiday to Winnipeg.

Dean. Trust me. They aren't sitting around bored and with no funds. They're having a ball here in the Big City.

Deank

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"Dean. Trust me. They aren't sitting around bored and with no funds. They're having a ball here in the Big City."

nope.


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yup

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