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Lawsuit filed over response to 2011 First Nations floods

July 9, 2013, Winnipeg – Residents from four First Nation communities affected by the 2011 flood are looking to file a class-action lawsuit against the federal government and Manitoba Association of Native Fire Fighters.

July 9, 2013
By The Canadian Press

July 9, 2013, Winnipeg – Residents from four First Nation communities affected by the 2011 flood are looking to file a class-action lawsuit against the federal government and Manitoba Association of Native Fire Fighters.

Nine people from the First Nation communities of Pinaymootang, Little Saskatchewan, Lake St. Martin and Dauphin River are suing on behalf of all evacuees whose homes were flooded.

They allege Ottawa failed to provide adequate accommodations, medical care, schooling, recreational facilities, clothing allowance and transportation.

They also say Ottawa failed to properly supervise MANFF and failed to act on complaints about MANFF.

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The suit alleges MANFF failed to provide adequate housing and failed to safeguard and protect the homes and personal property on the reserve.

It also contends the agency did not properly spend the money provided by Ottawa to look after the needs of the evacuated residents.

The allegations have not been proven in court. Statements of defence have not been filed.

MANFF is the non-profit agency which was designated by Ottawa to register and relocate the First Nation residents affected by the flooding.

MANFF has itself sued a former employee who has accused the agency of financial wrongdoing over aid to Manitoba flood evacuees.

The association has charged in court documents that Ted Ducharme's actions have damaged the not-for-profit agency's reputation and puts it at financial risk and open to further damage.

Ottawa hired an outside firm in February to conduct a management review of MANFF spending and practices after reports surfaced that MANFF had run up bills of $1 million in catering costs with a Winnipeg restaurant and owed two rural hotels more than $2.3 million.

The agency was later replaced as the group responsible for looking after the First Nation evacuees.