Canada helps protect communities around Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin from flooding

News release

St. Laurent, Manitoba, June 18, 2018—Investing in infrastructure that strengthens communities against the effects of climate change is critical to protecting the lives and livelihoods of Canadians, promoting economic growth and strengthening the middle class.

The governments of Canada and Manitoba will cost share up to $540 million in new flood management infrastructure for the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels, the Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba, and the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced today. The Government of Canada will provide $247.5 million for the project and Manitoba will provide matching funds in the amount of $247.5 million plus an additional $45 million to complete the project.

This is the first project to be funded under the recently launched Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, which is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada plan.

The governments of Canada and Manitoba identified the Channels Project as a major priority due to severe flooding in the area in 2011 and 2014. These disasters resulted in extensive damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure in the province, as well as emergency evacuations, particularly for communities around Lake St. Martin.

The project consists of building two approximately 23-kilometre-long diversion channels: the Lake Manitoba Outlet Channel will run northwards 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 project also involves building bridges, water control structures, a 24-kilovolt distribution line, and adjusting surrounding highway infrastructure.

The project will significantly reduce the flood damage experienced by First Nations located along Lake St. Martin, complementing other regional flood protection infrastructure to ensure a more comprehensive provincial water control network that enables the province to effectively manage flows from the Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba watersheds spanning Manitoba, southeastern Saskatchewan and the northeastern North Dakota.

Together, the channels will allow Manitoba to regulate lake levels and provide flood protection to individuals, businesses, communities and farmland around Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin.


“After 60 years of inaction, we are proud to stand today alongside our partners in the federal government to announce this vital project. We are focused on completing this project in a timely fashion to better protect Manitobans who have sacrificed so much.”

The Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba

“This funding shows that the Government of Canada is taking concrete steps to protect the vulnerable communities around Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin from disasters like the 2011 and 2014 flooding. 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. 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.”

The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources Canada

Quick facts

  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada will invest more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

  • The Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund is a $2-billion program under the Investing in Canada plan that supports large-scale infrastructure projects designed to reduce the potential damage and disruptions to essential services associated with natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, seismic events and droughts.

  • Applicants wishing to be considered for funding under the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund have until July 31, 2018, to submit an Expression of Interest to Infrastructure Canada at

Associated links


Kate Monfette
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Joey Dearborn
Press Secretary
Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Government of Manitoba

Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Twitter: @INFC_eng
Web: Infrastructure Canada

Page details

Date modified: