Alberta wants Ottawa to help pay for projects to prevent future floods - Macleans.ca
 

Alberta wants Ottawa to help pay for projects to prevent future floods


 

CALGARY – Alberta will ask Ottawa to help pay for flood prevention projects in addition to the costs of the devastation caused by flooding that hit the province in June.

“The ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and so investing in mitigation now saves us all money down the road,” Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths said Tuesday.

“If it’s a fact that Ottawa ends up paying 90 per cent of the costs of disaster recovery it would be very prudent for them to invest in some mitigation. So we’re going to continue to ask for some resources there as we go forward as we start to establish what the costs are going to be.”

The province does not have an estimate yet on how much mitigation projects will cost.

The government expects total flood damage will be around $5 billion.

Griffiths said Ottawa’s share of that would be up to $2.5 billion. The insurance industry is expected to cover another $1.7 billion.

Severe flooding in southern Alberta forced thousands of people from their homes and devastated the Town of High River. The City of Calgary and some other communities also suffered serious damage.

Griffiths repeated his earlier hope that Ottawa would advance Alberta $500 million this year to help defer costs.

He told the Calgary Chamber of Commerce that governments need to take action now on flood mitigation.

“Albertans don’t want another study indicating what we could do. We’ve got tons of studies, tons of information,” he said.

“We’ve gathered great information from experts on water movement. It’s time to put some of that into action. Engineer the results so people can see the detention dams going into place or the diversions — whatever is going to secure their community.”

Griffiths announced the province will host a flood mitigation forum in Calgary on Oct. 4.

Experts, community representatives and members of the public have been invited to discuss ideas on what to do to help prevent the next major flood.

Premier Alison Redford is to open the symposium.

Griffiths said it is important for governments to act while the flood disaster is still fresh in people’s minds.

“Right now people are very concerned about mitigation, but two years from now I doubt that it will be the most topical debate in the legislature.”

The Insurance Bureau of Canada said the June floods already rank as the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. The previous version suggested mitigation was factored into flood cost estimate.


 

Alberta wants Ottawa to help pay for projects to prevent future floods

  1. Chutzpah:

    “that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and
    father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an
    orphan.”

    Leo Rosten

  2. For Quebec, they pay for everything, time to return some of the money where it came from…

    Or separate. I like this option as it would save westerners a lot of money every year. Ottawa has become too big, too expensive and too wasteful to fix the easy way.

    • Oh please separate…it would do us all a favour.

      • Agreed and pay a toll to export your poison :)

        • Quoi?

          • should’ve said I agree and they should pay a tool to export their poison ie. tar sands products

          • Ahhh, thank you for the clarification…!

  3. cheaper than insurance, I guess.

  4. Why not levy a special flood cleanup and prevention royalty on crude oil? It would be a drop in the bucket compared to the speculator profits the banks and investment houses make every week.