Peter Ballantyne Flooding Claim in the Works

Monday, October 20, 2003 at 12:48



The Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation is building its case for compensation for flooded out lands in northeastern Saskatchewan.


Since the late 1980s, the band has tried to work out a compensation package with SaskPower related to the damage caused by the construction of the Island Falls and White Sand Dams several decades ago..


But negotiations have stalled in recent years, and now, band officials say they may have to take SaskPower to court.


Band spokesman Henry Morin says several band elders were videotaped at an elders’ gathering in Pelican Narrows last month telling their stories about life before and after the dams were built.


Morin says the negative impact to their traditional way of life was extensive.


The video footage of the elders is part of a package the band hopes to have ready by December, with the help of a lawyer from Vancouver the band has hired.


The package will then be submitted to SaskPower in an attempt to re-open negotiations.


Morin says the Crown utility’s last compensation offer fell far short of what band members have been seeking. He says even though the band wants to settle this issue through negotiation, it will take SaskPower to court if this package doesn’t do the trick.


Morin says SaskPower’s last offer was in the neighbourhood of 10 million dollars. In comparison, bands in Manitoba have received 6 or 7 times as much money for similar claims.