NEWS

No disaster funds for ice-crushed Manitoba cottage owners

05/14/2013 03:59 EDT | Updated 07/14/2013 05:12 EDT
Seasonal cottage owners in the ice-devastated community of Ochre Beach, Man., have been turned down for government disaster assistance.

“I'm bitter, frustrated, disappointed. It's not a good day,” said Doug Deans, who has spent summers for the past 60 years at Ochre Beach, located about 300 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg and 20 kilometres east of Dauphin.

His repair bill after ice slammed into his cottage Friday is estimated to be at least $100,000

Thirteen cottages and homes were destroyed and 27 others damaged when wind pushed a wall of ice on shore on Friday.

Representatives from the province’s disaster financial assistance program toured the area on Tuesday morning then held a town hall meeting with property owners.

Those who have cottages as opposed to full-time homes were advised they would receive no compensation.

Permanent residents will qualify because disaster assistance only applies to a primary residence, according to provincial rules.

"The general mood right now is anger and extreme disappointment. It's highly emotional," said CBC News reporter Jill Coubrough.

"The consensus I'm hearing is that these seasonal owners think they are being treated like second-class citizens and they are also really disappointed that Stan Struthers [MLA for Dauphin and Manitoba's finance minister] and the premier weren't here to announce this to them face to face," she said.

"I spoke to one cottage owner who says they are going to pursue any kind of funding they can get from the government. If that doesn't work they are going to go for a class-action lawsuit."

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