Province to Cost-Share $540M Outlet Channels for Lake Manitoba, Lake St. Martin

Province to Cost-Share $540M Outlet Channels for Lake Manitoba, Lake St. Martin

Lake St. Martin Emergency Channel
Provincial crews open the Lake St. Martin emergency channel during the 2014 flood. (GOVERNMENT OF MANITOBA)

The Manitoba government is cost-sharing $540 million for the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels with the federal government.

The deal, announced Monday in St. Laurent, will mitigate flood risk and high-water levels on Lake Manitoba, which were seen in 2011 and 2014. The new outlet channel will carry water directly from Lake Manitoba to Lake St. Martin.

“Mitigating the effects of natural hazards before they happen is critical to reducing the devastating social, personal and economic costs of recovering after the fact,” said Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr.

“With investments like these, we will make communities across Canada more resilient to climate change, and ensure residents and businesses can thrive for generations to come.”

Federal funding of $247.5 million will be provided for the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels Project, the first project to be funded under the recently launched Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund. Manitoba will provide matching funds of $247.5 million, plus an additional $45 million in order to complete the project.

The project involves the construction of two approximately 23-kilometre-long diversion channels: the Lake Manitoba Outlet Channel will run north from Watchorn Bay on Lake Manitoba to Birch Bay on Lake St. Martin; the Lake St. Martin Outlet Channel will run northeast from Lake St. Martin to Lake Winnipeg south of Willow Point.

The province also says two bridges will be built, along with water control structures, 24-kilovolt distribution line, and adjusting surrounding highway infrastructure.

The majority of construction will begin in fall 2019. Construction of an access road to the Lake St. Martin construction area is underway.

Public open houses

Four open houses are being held this month with two sessions from 2-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. They are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, June 19 – Moosehorn Community Hall, Railway Avenue, Moosehorn;
  • Wednesday, June 20 – St. Laurent Recreation Centre Lot 826, PTH 6 St., 6 Veteran’s Memorial Dr., St. Laurent;
  • Thursday, June 21 – Canad Inns Destination Centre, 2401 Saskatchewan Ave., Portage la Prairie;
  • Wednesday, June 27 – Canad Inns Destination Centre Fort Garry, 1824 Pembina Hwy., Winnipeg.
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