Manitoba announces relief program for residents impacted by spring floods

The Manitoba government is providing financial assistance to people, cities, businesses and farmers that have been impacted by the spring floods this year.

A Disaster Financial Assistance Program (DFA) is being launched to help people recover losses that are not insurable.

“We continue to work with local authorities on response efforts and a program will be available to assess damages and provide assistance for those who need it,” said Doyle Piwniuk, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, in a news release.

During a news conference on Monday, Piwniuk said the government is estimating the damage from the flood could cost more than $10 million.

“It’s going to be far more than that, but we are going to do the assessments first,” Piwniuk said at the news conference. “We need to make sure all the municipalities have to do all their own assessments, including the City of Winnipeg, then we will look at the overall costs, but we also have to make sure individuals who also have floods - we don’t know those costs yet, over 300 people have been evacuated, but we want to make sure what kind of losses they’ve had.”

Manitobans are encouraged to review their insurance coverage before applying for assistance as events like sewer backups are not covered.

The province noted the federal government may also provide financial assistance through arrangements for large-scale natural disasters.

Johanu Botha, the assistant deputy minister for Emergency Management, said if there is federal funding, this could help municipalities deal with future flooding as well.

“Manitoba will also, as part of our DFA, establish a Mitigation and Preparedness Program for municipalities affected by this spring flooding. This innovative program is built into our DFA launched in 2020, and it will give municipalities the option of having their entire share of DFA costs covered by the province so that they can redirect their share of DFA costs toward a project that builds toward resiliency,” said Botha.

He added the DFA program will not just be for those who have already experienced damage, and this will be open for those who experience flood impacts in the coming weeks as well.

Manitobans who need more information on the program can visit the government’s website.