Four separate reviews of spring 2011 flooding in Manitoba will be undertaken to determine effectiveness of the flood response and to recommend ways Manitoba can better fight future floods, announced Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton February 8, 2012.
The 2011 flood review task force chaired by engineer David Farlinger will do the primary review. A second review, chaired by economist and management consultant Harold Westdal, will examine water levels on Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin.
A third review, to be undertaken by an independent consultant who has yet to be named, will study flood control measures in the entire Lake Manitoba watershed.
A fourth study, headed by Dr. Shannon Stunden Bower, will come up with a province-wide plan to better manage water on the land rather than though drainage.
The four reviews have a combined budget of $4 million. Both Farlinger and Westdal's reviews are to be done over the next six to nine months.
"It is not yet clear from the terms of reference how transparent and participatory the process will be. Many Manitobans have concerns about how 2011 flooding was handled. Manitobans are also knowledgeable about flooding and could inform the task force. Citizen participation should be part of the reviews, and all aspects of the reviews need to be transparent and publicly accessible," said Manitoba Wildlands Director Gaile Whelan Enns, adding "We also note that the Red River Valley and Portage Diversion appear to be omitted from the reviews."
Both the opposition Liberals and Progressive Conservatives said the province should have announced an independent review of 2011 flooding in fall 2011. Instead decisions about 2011 floods were being sidetracked * by the Manitoba fall 2011 election campaign.
View February 9, 2012 CBC News article
View February 8, 2012 Government of Manitoba news release
View February 8, 2012 Winnipeg Free Press article
View February 8, 2012 Metro News (Winnipeg) article
Sources: Government of Manitoba, Winnipeg Free Press