The Rural Municipality of Rhineland and Province of Manitoba have scored a significant victory in a legal battle with a group of North Dakota farmers.
The American farmer group claims the Border Road, located north of the Manitoba and North Dakota border in Rhineland, is to blame for decades of flood damage to their crops and farmland. The group is seeking financial compensation for the damage and they want the road removed.
Lawyers defending the province and Rhineland argued the case should be thrown out because the federal court has no jurisdiction in the matter. The judge agreed and has dismissed the case.
"That was a ruling in our favour, so we're pleased about that," said Rhineland reeve Don Wiebe. "We felt the nature of the arguments put forward by the Americans, in terms of jurisdictional issues, didn't quite fit the picture, and we have some satisfaction in the judge's ruling."
Meanwhile, lawyers representing the North Dakota farmer group are appealing that ruling through the Federal Court of Appeal in Ottawa.
"They are asking for the Federal Court of Appeal to reconsider the decision," said Mike Rempel, Chief Administrative Officer with Rhineland. "The trial date for this appeal has not been set at this point."
Rempel says he's not sure what will happen if the appeal falls short.
"That will be up to the Americans as to where they would want to take their case next if they lose their appeal."