I am not a farmer and I don t live along Lake Manitoba. However, after reading Sandi Knight s article in the Oct. 20 issue of theManitoba Co-operator,I decided to take her up on her offer of a guided tour of the area around her family s farm.
Not knowing where the cultivated land was for the last decades, I would have thought that the fields she showed us were actual marshes and had been there for years. But no, these bulrushes grew in only a few months on cultivated cropland 2-1/2 miles from the lake. We saw piles of logs and debris they had removed from the fields in the hope that next spring might be better.
We then drove on to Lynch s Point where the road is still surrounded with lake water, pastures totally immersed, and even winter corrals still under water.
It is unbelievable that this flood is still going on while most of the province is now high and dry. It is unbelievable that this flood was man made. But the most unbelievable thing is that many of these farmers have not yet received any compensation and have no idea yet what they will get, if anything. It is unbelievable that no government officials have visited these farms, as Knight had suggested in her recent article.
The question that plagues me is why?
Prime Minister Harper, the local MP Candace Hoeppner and Premier Greg Selinger were all there for the Hoop and Holler incident. I guess it was a good photo op with a lot of press present.
If it were large corporate businesses being affected, perhaps government officials would be visible along Lake Manitoba too. Political donations go a long way.
Or is it because the votes of those around Lake Manitoba don t really count? The flood affects many farmers but from many different constituencies. Their votes are too spread out. If it was in a large centre such as Winnipeg, I wonder how active the politicians would be. It is ironic that in the recent provincial election, Elections Manitoba had the logo Your vote counts. Does it?