Map: Manitoba Archives
Figure 19.10, a 1989 photo, shows the city of
Figure 19.11 is a map showing land divisions established in 1875 along the
Figure 19.12 is an air photo that shows the situation in 1959, before the Portage Dam was built. Meander scrolls 9 are visible south of the river. Over the years the farmer brought land accreted in this area into cultivation. However, in connection with the building of the Portage Floodway, the
Figure 19.13 is a 1988 air photo of the area and it can be seen that flooding did indeed occur. Dark-toned areas 10 south of the main river channel are inundated. The land expropriated by the Province included 59 acres of the accreted land, but the farmer was awarded compensation for the land shown on the original title (the shaded area on figure 19.11), that is, excluding the accreted land.[i]
However, the farmer claimed compensation for the accreted land and took his case to the Manitoba Court of Appeal that decided against him. In so doing the court referred to the 1875 plan which had not been changed and observed that the accreted land had not been granted by the Crown (the Province) to anybody and therefore continued to be owned by the Crown (the Province).
He then took his case to the Supreme Court of Canada that decided in his favour, giving two reasons for its decision. First, if it is held that a person does not own land accreted on the inside of a meander bend, that person is in the anomalous position of losing land by erosion on the outside of a bend without being able to claim land added on the inside. Second, in
The landowner won his case. Whether the compensation he eventually received covered his legal costs is not known.