Quebec, Montreal examining strategies to reduce flooding damage
For residents living in picturesque waterfront communities, repeated flooding has raised questions about compensation as thousands of homes continue to be evacuated in Quebec.
Quebec Premier François Legault reiterated Monday that compensation will be maxed at $100,000 per household in flood zones — but he also said the government will provide up to $200,000 if residents give up their flood-plain residence and buy a new home.
READ MORE: More than 3,100 homes flooded across Quebec
“In some ways, it is good news,” said Glenn McGillivray, managing director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss.
“Two years ago, we had flooding and no one was talking about this. I would prefer to see a mandatory program though.”
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, for her part, says the city is looking at how to make some neighbourhoods more resilient towards flooding.
“It could be about building water parks, doing the landscapes in a way that can better protect from the water,” she said.
Plante and other municipal politicians say they are concerned that pushing residents to leave their homes will destroy neighbourhoods, further isolating people who are already cut off when water levels rise.
WATCH: Rigaud on high alert as streets begin flooding
However, city officials agree there is a need for more discussion and a long-term plan to deal with flooding.
While sympathy for flood victims is always strong during a crisis, McGillivray says more and more taxpayers want the government to take a different approach.
“Two years ago, May 2017, many of the same places were flooding and I came out in media and talked about these things, got a lot of public support,” he said.
“The cycle has to end, we can’t continue to do this. Not fair to taxpayers, federal taxpayers.”
In flood-stricken areas, some residents are on board with the idea.
“As far as I’m concerned, if I recuperate what I put in, I am okay. I am not trying to make money on the government,” said Rigaud resident Gerald Fuentes.
Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault toured the Beauce region on Tuesday, meeting with local mayors and promising a more in-depth consultation on the future of flood zones — after the waters have receded.
WATCH: Road washed out by floodwaters in Quebec town
–With files from Global News’ Karen MacDonald and Brayden Jagger-Haines.
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