April 25, 2014 10:11 am

Manitoba flood evacuees’ homes allegedly sold instead of demolished

Flooding in Manitoba in 2011 prompted numerous evacuations.

David Lipnowski / The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG – The Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development has suspended the transfer of funds to a Manitoba First Nation after the chief and council allegedly sold flood-damaged homes slated for demolition.

Lake St. Martin First Nation was evacuated after it was flooded in 2011. There are hundreds of evacuees who are still without a permanent home.

Ottawa committed nearly $2 million to demolish 133 homes ruined by flooding, but some of those homes were allegedly sold and moved off the land.

The federal government said Thursday evening that it has now suspended the transfer of the funds for demolition. A total of $1,185,600 has already been transferred to a contractor hired by Lake St. Martin for work completed, a government spokeswoman said.

The allegations will be investigated and any evidence of wrongdoing will be forwarded to police, the spokeswoman said.

“Taxpayer dollars must be used for their intended purposes only,” a statement from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs said.

No one responded to calls to the Lake St. Martin band office.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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