National Newswatch
National Opinion Centre

Have you ever heard of “Duff’s Ditch?”

Technically it’s called the Red River Floodway (or Canal de derivation de la riviere Rouge). It’s a 47-kilometre-long manmade channel that redirects floodwaters from the Red River around Winnipeg.

The floodway was constructed after disastrous floods in the 1950s left large sections of Winnipeg underwater from spring runoff in the Red River basin.

It was nicknamed for Manitoba Premier Duff Roblin, whose Progressive Conservative government built it in the 1960s. It was a sarcastic nickname thought up by opponents of its construction who felt the $600-million cost (in today’s dollars) made the channel a white elephant.

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