The flood waters have receded and now it’s cash that is flowing.
The Manitoba government announced last week that farmers whose lands were flooded as a result of the decision to use the Portage Diversion this past summer will be eligible for $1.15 million in compensation.
“During our flood response, the Manitoba government used the Portage Diversion to manage water flow and provide protection to as many Manitobans’ homes and properties as possible,” said Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn. “The government recognizes this decision led to flooding on agricultural land and losses for producers. This compensation will be targeted to farmers affected by the use of the diversion and support their land restoration efforts.”
Payments will be made to crop and forage producers in the immediate vicinity of the Portage Diversion for lost production and land restoration, said the minister, adding more than 2,500 acres are expected to be eligible.
Kevin Yuill has property located on both sides of the diversion channel, a few miles north of Highway 227. He has experienced repeated flooding as a result of the Portage Diversion running beyond its original parameters.
Built with an intended capacity of 25,000 cubic feet of water per second, the Portage Diversion now sees flows in the neighbourhood of 34,000 cubic feet per second in order to ease pressure on the Assiniboine River during flooding.
However, Yuill is cautiously optimistic about the government’s promise of compensation.
“We certainly should benefit from it,” he said, but added he does still have concerns.
“I think if the ratio is correct, if they’ve got $1.15 million for 2,500 acres… that’s not a bad number,” Yuill said. “The issue is that I don’t think the 2,500 acres are anywhere close to what the actual number is.”
He noted that between himself and a neighbour alone, there are 1,000 acres affected.
“And there’s more than just two people caught in this mess,” Yuill added, noting he is waiting for the province to release details on the program through crop insurance.
Kostyshyn added that this support is in addition to the Canada-Manitoba Forage Shortfall and Transportation Assistance Initiative announced under the AgriRecovery framework earlier this fall.