Manitoba says attempts to engage on flood project with First Nations went unanswered

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WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is in court today saying it spent years consulting with a group of First Nations about a multimillion-dollar flood protection project only to be met with a lack of engagement from the communities.

The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council, which includes six communities in the province's Interlake region, is asking for a judicial review into the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels project after they say Manitoba began work on an all-access road without consulting nearby First Nations.

The $540-million project is aimed at preventing a repeat of extensive flooding that forced thousands from their homes in First Nations communities in 2011.

Lawyers for the province say the government held several meetings and sent multiple letters to communities on the development of the road.

However, on Monday, lawyers for the tribal council argued there were no discussions about clearing land when consultations began between the province and the communities involved.

The two-day hearing is expected to wrap up today.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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