Montreal-area mayors demand more be done for flood victims in open letter

Click to play video: 'Off island mayors calling on Quebec and Canada to step up flood relief'
Off island mayors calling on Quebec and Canada to step up flood relief
WATCH: Nine mayors in Quebec are deeply disappointed with the slow response from government leaders in helping flood victims. As Global’s Tim Sargeant reports, they want both levels of government to increase and speed up financial compensation to help their residents rebuild or sell their homes – May 29, 2019

Nine mayors off the western tip of the Montreal island are calling on the Quebec premier and Canadian prime minister to do more to help flood victims.

In a 468-word letter to the two leaders, titled “Flooding 2019 — Once the cameras leave, so do the politicians,” the mayors — representing the areas of Pointe-Fortune, Rigaud, Hudson, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Vaudreuil-sur-le-Lac, L’Île-Cadieux, Terrasse-Vaudreuil, L’Île-Perrot and Pincourt — are requesting the Quebec government start writing cheques more quickly to homeowners to help them rebuild or move.

And they want prime minister Justin Trudeau to authorize the return of Canadian troops to help with cleanup efforts where needed.

“It’s an emergency thing,” Guy Pilon, mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion, told Global News. “It’s not like you can take your time and going to create a committee. I think they are doing better than [has] been done but it’s not fast enough for certain persons.”
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In the letter, the local politicians write, “Mr. Legault, where is the support from the Public Security Department?”

“Do you not find the situation deplorable?” the letter continues.

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Meanwhile, Premier François Legault has offered up to $200,000 for home owners in financial compensation to move out of the flood zones.

And he insists the money is on its way.

“We’ll act as fast as possible. I don’t like bureaucracy, I don’t like long delays so I will make sure we act fast,” he said at the National Assembly.

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Click to play video: 'Should old Quebec dam be torn down after flood scare?'
Should old Quebec dam be torn down after flood scare?

But some complain the response isn’t fast enough.

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“The flooding part has taken an enormous amount of time compared to last time,” Marilyn Basilieres, a homeowner in Terrasse-Vaudreuil told Global News.

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And the daughter of one homeowner told reporters from Quebec City that her parents were told that their house wasn’t in a flood zone by local politicians.

Now she’s living a nightmare.

“It haunts us. It follow us everywhere, there’s no escape from it,” said Mickaël Hardy. “[Because] it’s our home.”

Some residents also worry that even if they get financial compensation, the market value of their homes has diminished and that’s an amount they won’t be able to recover.

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