Nova Scotia minister won’t commit to buying out homes ravaged by July flooding

Click to play video: 'Calls for floodplain zoning around the Sackville River following N.S. floods'
Calls for floodplain zoning around the Sackville River following N.S. floods
An advocate of the Sackville River is calling for better defences following last month’s historic floods. He wants to see the city adopt floodplain zoning for the area to help preserve the waterway and nearby land. Skye Bryden-Blom reports. – Aug 14, 2023

Nova Scotia’s housing minister says any request for the province to buy homes damaged in a Halifax suburb in flooding last July would have to come from the municipality.

John Lohr says while he’s not prepared to say yes or no to the idea, he would consider a request if it’s thought necessary by municipal officials, who are responsible for zoning and infrastructure in the area.

Lohr says that’s what happened in 2016 when the former Liberal government decided to purchase 18 homes after a major flood in Sydney, N.S.

Click to play video: 'Link between climate change and N.S. extreme weather events'
Link between climate change and N.S. extreme weather events

In the meantime, he says the provincial government is generally committed to keeping people in their homes, adding that “we need every house” as the province deals with a housing crisis.

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Some residents on Union Street in Bedford, N.S., have said they hope the province will buy and demolish homes that were heavily damaged when the Sackville River spilled its banks during a torrential downpour on July 21.

The storm dumped up to 250 millimetres of rain in several parts of the province and created raging floodwaters that claimed the lives of four people, including two children, in nearby Hants County.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2023.

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