Government of Canada and the Canadian Forces assist those affected by flooding in the Province of Manitoba

News and Press Release
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NR11.040 - May 9, 2011

STEELE BARRACKS, CFB Edmonton, Alberta - The Government of Canada will send up to 1000 Canadian Forces personnel to assist the Government of Manitoba to reinforce flood control measures on the Assiniboine River between Brandon and Winnipeg and assist with evacuating endangered citizens, as part of Operation LUSTRE.

Canadian Forces personnel have already deployed and are assisting in the affected area with more personnel to follow in the coming days.

“I’m proud that the men and women of the Canadian Forces are responding to this request made by the Government of Manitoba to help prevent potential loss of life and damages as a result of flooding, ” said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “The men and women of the Canadian Forces prove time and time again that they are always ready and able to defend Canada and Canadians. ”

“The Province requires personnel for rapid flood protection build-up prior to 11 May. They require a large, organized and capable body of personnel to assist in building up dikes,” said Joint task Force West commander Brigadier-General Paul Wynnyk. “We will deploy Reserve Force soldiers from 38 Canadian Brigade Group with the balance of the task force coming primarily from the Regular Force at Canadian Forces Base Shilo.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Shane Schreiber, Commanding Officer of the Shilo-based 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, will command the military task force.

The main effort of the military personnel will be sandbagging operations to reinforce existing flood control measures on the Assiniboine River.

The primary role of the Canadian Forces is to defend and protect Canadians at home and abroad. Canadian soldiers have a proud record of assisting Manitobans with flooding, most notably in 1950 when the military undertook Operation REDRAMP. In 1997, in response to the “Flood of the Century,” the Canadian Forces conducted Operation ASSISTANCE.

“Folks should understand that the Canadian Forces will be acting at the direction of the Government of Manitoba,” added Brigadier-General Wynnyk. “The Government of Manitoba are the experts at dealing with flooding in Manitoba”

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Note to editors: For more information please contact the National Defence Media Liaison Office at (613) 996-2353