There is a definite sense of anger and betrayal as we reside on our farm inside an eight-food earthen dike, living daily with the stench of the dying foliage from our tame hay crops instead of the sweet smell of curing hay. This stench circles us on all four sides.
We do not live on a flood plain as our urban neighbours do. Therefore we are not protected from this man-made flood.
Mother Nature did not do this to us.
She did not take away our human right and ability to make a living.
She did not destroy the value of our land. She did not strip us of our retirement and pension.
Our Manitoba government did all these horrible things to us. Those in government and in control of the imposed waters do not have the right to destroy us. They chose to commit this act under the pretence that “they had no other choice.”
Our government does not have the right to choose to protect one sector of society over another, namely the more populous areas over our smaller rural communities.
Our government has made deliberate and bad decisions on how to handle the extra waters including what it agreed to take from Saskatchewan (i. e.: Fishing Lake). It did this fully knowing that it was going to “stuff” this water into the already overcapacitated Lake Manitoba, which does have a proper outlet drain.
No consideration was made as to how this was going to impact and destroy the lives of people living and working around Lake Manitoba.
Not once has our government either admitted to or even apologized for this atrocity.
If you, our government representatives, should ever take the time to “take a walk in our shoes” you may realize that you have demeaned and stripped us of our dignity. But you will never be able to strip us of our common sense to know what is right and wrong.
In all these past months, neither the premier or any one of the other government officials in charge has ever set foot on my farm and come face to face with me to explain why you picked me and my neighbours around Lake Manitoba to destroy.
The government is to be held accountable to each and every one of us for 100 per cent compensation. That is the least our government can do.
By taking away our patriotic right to live as hardworking, honest, citizens in our community, you have crossed the line.
First you have abused us physically and then question our intelligence. For you to think that we deserve to suffer for the next several years while you, out of the goodness of your political heart, will get us back on our feet is absurd. For some of us, it simply is impossible to take that many years of living away from us.
You obviously wanted our land under water to save the more populated areas. I want to be completely compensated and now, not over the next several years of reconstruction. You owe me the fair market value for my property at what I was able to sell it for previous to 2011 – before you destroyed it.
We in our rural communities have wide and strong shoulders and can cope with our personal tragedies. But what you have done is unbearable.
To those who are not flooded, and therefore may not realize it, our farm as other area farms around us have been here for more than 100 years. What does that tell you? It tells me that our ancestors did not homestead too close to Lake Manitoba. If in fact, they had homesteaded too close to the lake way back then, do you think that these properties that my fellow neighbours and I are fighting for would exist today?
There is something very “politically” wrong with this picture.
Lydia Johnson farms near Langruth, Man.