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Beaconsfield adopts resolution opposing provincial flood maps

Beaconsfield considering legal action against province over flood maps
WATCH: Beaconsfield held an emergency council meeting on Wednesday to discuss how to have some 157 homes removed from the new Quebec flood maps. As Global's Brayden Jagger Haines explains, some other West Island municipalities are finding themselves in the same boat.

Tensions continue to run high in Beaconsfield over the Quebec governments revised flood maps.

At an emergency council meeting Wednesday morning, the city adopted a resolution opposing the new maps.

“We’re trying to convey a strong message to the government that we should not be on the flood map and we should be removed,” said Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle.

An estimated 175 homes in Beaconsfield are still included in the most recent version of the maps, released on Monday by Quebec’s Ministry for Municipal Affairs and Housing. The initial maps identifying at-risk zones was released in June following severe flooding in several regions of the province.

READ MORE: How does Canada mitigate the impact of flooding? Experts say better urban planning

Bourelle, as well as several residents, argue they shouldn’t be on the map at all.

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“We’ve never been flooded,” said Beaconsfield homeowner Omar Rifai. “I’ve lived there for 22 years and I’ve never had a drop on my property.”

Previous attempts to have the properties removed from the danger zone have been unsuccessful.

“We sent a resolution to Minister Andrée Laforest that we passed at council,” Bourelle said on Tuesday. “We listed every address in Beaconsfield that should be removed. They have totally ignored us.”

READ MORE: Quebec removes 30 municipalities from its updated flood maps

Beaconsfield is not the only West Island community protesting the new zoning changes. Dorval is also working to have properties removed from the flood zone.

While Dorval Mayor Edgar Rouleau said that some corrections were made since the initial map was drawn up, some 50 homes are still considered to be at risk.

“They corrected it, but its not 100 per cent for us, so were pushing the government,” he said.

The flood zone areas are now called special intervention zones (ZIS).

READ MORE: Quebec removes 30 municipalities from its updated flood maps

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On its website, Quebec’s Ministry for Municipal Affairs and Housing, says the ZIS applies to all 0-20 year flood zones and territory that was flooded during the spring floods of 2017 and 2019.

The mayors of both communities contend their communities don’t fit the bill.

The water level in the 20-year flood zone on Lac Saint-Louis is 22.75 metres. In 2017, the lake reached 22,57 metres — a full 18 cm below the 20-year-mark.

WATCH: Does Quebec need better flood maps?

Does Quebec need better flood maps?
Does Quebec need better flood maps?

City officials say that margin should be enough to keep properties safe.

“That seems to meet the criteria that the government has asked to be removed from the map,” said Bourelle.

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“There is no danger for all the cities on the Lac Saint-Louis border to be flooded, because the water is controlled,” added Rouleau.

In an email to Global News, a government spokesperson said that the maps are not final and stressed that municipalities and residents have until August 19 to file any grievances.