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Alberta municipal affairs minister calls relief program ‘a disaster’, promises changes

Flooding in High River. in 2013. Sharon Kravets

CALGARY – Alberta’s municipal affairs minister says the province’s disaster recovery program is a “disaster in and of itself” and there will eventually be changes.

Deron Bilous was responding to a resolution backed by delegates at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association calling for an external review of the program.

The issue was brought forward by High River Coun. Bruce Masterman, who says the problems his town encountered during major flooding in 2013 are not unique.

READ MORE: Premier Prentice pledges $20 million to fast-track flood claims from 2013 

He says there are nearly 1,400 open files in the province from the disaster and more than half of them are from High River residents.

READ MORE: Million-dollar flood-damaged homes still standing as anniversary nears 

The resolution, approved by 91 per cent of delegates, calls for a review to speed up completion of outstanding files and improve the program for the future.

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Bilous said the government has been looking at disaster relief and there will be an announcement from the environment minister, but no date has been set.

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