April 17, 2024

La Ronge Northerner

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New Flood Zones |  Opposition parties fear “catastrophe”.

New Flood Zones | Opposition parties fear “catastrophe”.

“Disastrous”, “catastrophic”, opposition parties are demanding that the Legault government present an adaptation and aid plan for local populations facing climate change, along with a new map of its flood zones.

“People will lose a lot of money in the value of their houses. Their land will be worth nothing. Whole villages could be uprooted. It's catastrophic,” says Liberal MP Virginie Dufour.

Quebec Solitaire MP Etienne Grandmont has a similar view: “Legal immigrants in these places cannot alone pay the cost of our collective inaction. [face aux changements climatiques]. The Quebec government needs to take note,” he says.

The two elected officials are asking the Quebec government to reassure the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people living in flood-prone areas with a revamp of the rules to be announced by the minister soon. Environment Benoit Charette.

Pres A woman named Suzanne LeBlanc lost her autonomy and was forced to use a dry toilet and wash herself with a washcloth because she could not renovate her home due to flood zone regulations. Despite its municipality's support, the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks (MELCCFP) did not allow exemptions.

Read our file “Flood Zone Prisoners”

Quadruple the area of ​​flood zones

Regulatory restrictions, loss of value, difficulty selling your home and obtaining insurance. According to city officials and experts, many homeowners may find themselves stuck with the work of new flood zone maps on their homes.

The new regulation, prepared at the environment ministry, will add a third zone of “100-350 years,” a document says. Pres. There will be a “general increase in flood levels” to take into account the frequency of floods in recent years and the impacts of climate change, particularly the risks that Hydro-Québec's efforts to retain water in the north will fail.

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“It's going to be huge,” says liberal Virginie Dufour, who is familiar with the issue. This former municipal representative in Laval worked on the issue in 2020, when the state of Quebec took action after the 2017 and 2019 floods.

Photo by Edward Plant-Freshette, La Presse Archives

Virginie Dufour

He estimates that in year 0-350, “areas will expand three to four times as much as in year 0-100.” He fears that insurers and mortgage lenders will use this information to exit these markets, as Desjardins did in the 0-20 years. “I'm afraid. All these properties are now at risk of being mortgaged. It's worrying. Are they going to lose their homes? I did not ask the government on this issue. Is he ready to take over? ”, she lets fall.

REM in a flood zone?

He even believes that “whole neighborhoods are now built” in areas deemed at risk. “The REM de l'Ouest in Laval goes through areas like that. We're probably opening a Pandora's box. But I don't know where we're pushing back,” he says. He says the government should encourage the building of aqueducts and walls to “physically protect” neighborhoods. believes

As for the regulatory straitjacket that prevents Mme “She's far from alone in her situation,” says M.me From the oven. “Citizens have already contacted me about this. “People were stuck, unable to do what they wanted on their land,” he says.

A person who wants to build a stilt or elastic house cannot do so. Despite solutions, some sectors are completely paralyzed. We are not the only place in the world experiencing floods.

Virginie Dufour

“Where is our adaptation? I don't see her. The government has been working on this for five years. It's too long,” he says.

Mme Dufour also doubts the Environment Ministry's maps. Flood forecasting is a “complicated science”. Challenging the ministry's estimates, the city of Laval had to pay for a $1.5 million study “for a single river.”

She fears that the maps are made with “too rough a line”. “It is important to know our territory, but I am not sure that the estimates coming out of this exercise reflect reality,” he says.

Financial assistance

For his part, solidarity activist Étienne Grandmont is asking that the state of Quebec count settlements in flood zones with its new mapping exercise. For now, the Ministries of Public Safety and Environment are ignoring it.

“The situation has changed [avec les changements climatiques]. People are not at fault. We are asking them to set up a list of the settlements affected by the new map, measure the scale of the event and establish the funds to be made available,” he says.

He believes the state of Quebec should be there to provide financial assistance to affected owners. He fears that otherwise they will be “prisoners” in their home. “They can't resell it. […] The government should be there to reassure everyone,'' he said.

In a written statement, Parti Québécois MP Joel Arseneau asks citizens for help. “Submitting a new framework, a new mapping of flood zones will clearly require adaptation and support measures for affected communities and homeowners. We cannot put this effect of climate change on their shoulders alone,” he explained.

He also points out that during the last election campaign his party proposed “a fair transition fund to help citizens cope with the impacts of climate change”.