A woman claiming to be a Manitoba flood evacuee moved from her Winnipeg home into a city hotel to get government benefits, according to another evacuee.
Edee O'Meara of Lake St. Martin First Nation told CBC News that she has been at the woman's Winnipeg home in The Maples area of the city for children's birthday parties.
"And all of a sudden, her and her children have hotel rooms at the Thrift Lodge and she's just partying it up," O'Meara said.
The woman, along with her children, would likely be receiving more than $4,000 a month in government flood money.
Sid Dutchak, a senior official with the federal Aboriginal Affairs Department, said the government is looking into allegations of hundreds of fake flood evacuees.
When the Lake St. Martin reserve was severely damaged by flooding this past spring, about 800 people were forced from their homes and many were put up in Winnipeg hotel rooms.
'Who are these people?'
Lake St. Martin now has more than 1,300 registered flood evacuees.
"Who are these people?" O'Meara said.
Government officials say many of those were not likely living on reserve when the community was evacuated and their benefits will be cut off.
Dutchak has told the Lake St. Martin chief and council to provide him with accurate lists.
"It’s not a huge community, so they will know that someone was either living in Winnipeg for 10 years or was evacuated last spring," he said.
Chief Adrian Sinclair refused to comment on the matter.
Lake St. Martin First Nation is about 300 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
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