Prime Minister Stephen Harper has stated on two occasions, namely the High River flood of 2005 and the Winnipeg Red River flood of 2009, that it was time for governments to work harder to prevent floods from occurring rather than providing compensation funding to municipalities and citizens following these floods.
On behalf of the Save Our Sundre Committee, I couldn’t agree more.
As a result, our committee of the local Sundre Chamber of Commerce was given the task of implementing the prevention of flooding of our great little town before it occurs.
We need help from the government of Alberta.
The future of Sundre is in jeopardy due to the continuous erosion of the west bank of the Red Deer River.
It is no longer a question of “if a disaster occurs,” but poignantly, “when a disaster occurs” because if nothing is done, a disaster will most definitely happen.
The Town of Sundre has funded several thousands of dollars worth of engineering studies.
The intent was to provide Alberta Environment with a proposal that would allow the Town of Sundre to gain a permit to move the river channel from the west bank to its original channel on the east side at its current most critical area.
The east side of the river is well armored and protected. The permit would enable the town time to begin work on the west bank to provide a more permanent protection for Sundre and its citizens.
The proposal was submitted in late June and we were again informed that the bureaucracy had more questions and more engineer studies were required.
Sundre is a town with a population of 2,500 persons and there are simply no funds to carry on with this major project.
It is agreed by a number of well-informed people, including our MLA Ty Lund and our MP Blake Richards, that moving this segment of the Red Deer River channel would enable us to do some essential work on the west bank.
The committee and I understand we cannot do the work without a permit; however, the requirements to obtain the permit are financially out of reach, as is the subsequent flood protection work.
The bottom line is: We need help! Is anybody listening?