Fire Fighting in Canada

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Ottawa to probe bloated bills from Manitoba evacuations

May 2, 2013, Winnipeg – The federal government has ordered an independent investigation into a Manitoba aboriginal organization after new allegations that the true cost of covering 2011 flood evacuee expenses has been exaggerated.

May 2, 2013
By The Canadian Press

May 2, 2013, Winnipeg – The federal government has ordered an independent investigation into a Manitoba aboriginal organization after new allegations that the true cost of covering 2011 flood evacuee expenses has been exaggerated.

The unproven allegations surrounding the Manitoba Association of Native Fire Fighters are contained in a dossier submitted to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

The most serious one suggests provincial money for evacuees was misappropriated and used to pay about three million dollars in hotel bills for First Nations evacuees fleeing fires last summer.

There are also allegations that association staff on duty at a Gimli-area lodge were repeatedly drunk and responsible for vandalism to hotel property and physical altercations that resulted in calls to police.

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The association – a non-profit agency which handles flood- and fire-related evacuations from First Nations – pays the invoices and is reimbursed by the province, which then sends the bills to Ottawa.

Daren Mini, the executive director of MANFF, has not responded to email requests for comment on the allegations.