The Manitoba government today urged the federal government to signal its support for protecting Manitobans from future flood damage resulting from climate change by officially signing the joint Canada/Manitoba funding agreement for the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Channels Project.
The outlet channels project is the largest and most significant flood mitigation project undertaken in Manitoba since the expansion of the Red River Floodway. It is a critical component of Manitoba’s broader integrated flood mitigation network, which includes the Shellmouth Dam, the Portage Diversion and the Red River Floodway. Collectively, this system protects the safety of hundreds of thousands of Manitobans across much of the province, and reduces the catastrophic costs and damages associated with future flood events.
The project is estimated to cost a total of $540 million, cost-shared between the federal and provincial governments. It is predicted to contribute an estimated $335 million to Manitoba’s gross domestic product (GDP), with an additional $165 million in GDP accruing to other parts of Canada, as some construction material is sourced out of province. The project workforce is estimated to average 300 people per year over five years of construction.
To date, the province has had 174 meetings with indigenous communities and impacted groups to consult about the project. It has signed fully funded consultation agreements with eight First Nations, and has undertaken nearly $5 million in environmental impact assessments.