Development edict too vague

Central Alberta municipalities say a provincial edict to alter development in flood plains is vague in scope and implications.

Central Alberta municipalities say a provincial edict to alter development in flood plains is vague in scope and implications.

Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths said in a Sunday press release that a portion of the provincial disaster recovery program fund would be used for homeowners to rebuild or relocate to new locations, outside of the flood risk area.

Homes requiring major repairs or complete reconstruction will be given extra funding to implement approved flood mitigation measures.

“Frankly, we’re not at all sure what it does mean,” said Red Deer city manager Craig Curtis. “The level of consultation has not happened. We’ve seen these announcements in the same way the public does — it seems the communication is somewhat lacking.”

New provincial legislation regarding development in flood plains is expected this fall. Consultations are expected to take place over the next few weeks.

“We have to study the information more because we have not been directly communicated with,” said Curtis.

While there hasn’t been the necessary consultation yet, Curtis likes the government’s idea to align flood mitigation and disaster recovery with other Canadian provinces like Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec.

Kevin Waschuk lives in one of the six Red Deer houses that was served an evacuation notice as a result of the June flood. His house, located near McKenzie Trails, wasn’t damaged and he never left.

He said he hopes some of the provincial money could be used to build berms and divert a potential disaster.

“We got through this one unscathed and the flood we had eight years ago got a little closer,” said Waschuk. “Obviously we’re going to choose to stay where we are at.

“If they (provincial government) would offer up some money to the City of Red Deer to come in and build some solid berms close to where we live. Nobody can predict these berms would hold, but at least we’re attempting to thwart the situation.”

In 2005, flood waters came within two metres of Waschuk’s back door. But he got through it unscathed. With the 2013 flood waters at a lower level than in 2005, he has dodged a couple of wet bullets.

Curtis said these homes are in an area of concern when it comes to floods and have been for many years.

“His (Griffiths) comments seem to have been around the one-in-100-year flood plain, which is one we’ve adhered to pretty strictly,” said Curtis. “We’ve had a program of acquiring lands along the river within the one-in-100, which was one of the motivations for Waskasoo Park when we purchased all that land in the 1980s.”

The Riverlands development, the proposed Native Friendship Centre site and the new civic yard are not within the province’s projected 100-year-flood plain.

“It would be best to identify the specific municipalities rather than being somewhat generic,” said Curtis.

Under the provincial proposal, future developments in floodways will be severely limited, for the most part outright banned, and future disaster recovery assistance will be limited to residents who undertake approved flood mitigation measures.

According to a City of Red Deer press release, the city’s next steps are to compare in detail in the provincial maps with the city’s flood hazard area, review the details of the new proposed provincial policy and discuss implications with the province.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Council approved a $3 million grant and a $19 million loan Tuesday to help keep Westerner Park sustainable. (Advocate file photo)
Red Deer city council approves $22M to keep Westerner Park viable after emotional debate

It’s vital ensure future success for the huge economic generator, says mayor

Red Deer Rebels goalie Chase Coward tries to find a loose puck during WHL action at the Centrium earlier this season. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Changes on the horizon for Red Deer Rebels next season

New coach, roster adjustments among top priorities for Sutter this offseason

Renovations and construction have begun at Red Deer Dream Centre. (Photo contributed)
Renovations underway at Red Deer Dream Centre

Christian-based addictions treatment centre

Red Deer County's municipal planning commission gave approval for a new directional sign for a business located near Elnora.
(Image from Red Deer County)
Red Deer County garden centre and winery gets sign approved

Delidais Estate Winery and DA Gardens is located near Elnora

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Here is a list of latest COVID-19 restrictions in effect in Alberta

New mandatory health restrictions are now in effect in Alberta. Additional restrictions… Continue reading

Boston Bruins left wing Nick Ritchie (21) and Washington Capitals defenseman Brenden Dillon (4) battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Raffl’s late goal pushes Capitals past Bruins, 2-1

Raffl’s late goal pushes Capitals past Bruins, 2-1

Chicago Blackhawks left wing Alex DeBrincat (12) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Chicago, Saturday, May 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Toews’ question chases Chicago Blackhawks into offseason

Toews’ question chases Chicago Blackhawks into offseason

Wheeler has two goals, two assists as Winnipeg Jets clinch third in North Division

Wheeler has two goals, two assists as Winnipeg Jets clinch third in North Division

Depleted Raptors drop a 115-96 decision to Leonard and Clippers

Depleted Raptors drop a 115-96 decision to Leonard and Clippers

Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, tosses the ball for a serve to Ilya Ivashka, of Belarus, during the Miami Open tennis tournament Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime upsets Diego Schwartzman at Italian Open

Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime upsets Diego Schwartzman at Italian Open

Philadelphia Flyers' James van Riemsdyk (25) and Sean Couturier (14) celebrate past New Jersey Devils' Yegor Sharangovich (17) after a goal by van Riemsdyk during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, May 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Flyers drop from trendy East favorite to another lost season

Flyers drop from trendy East favorite to another lost season

André Gauthier is shown in a handout photo. Gauthier, a Canadian geologist who spent six years in and out of jail in Dubai after he allegedly uncovered fraud in a gold company, finally is back home in Quebec City after his release last week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Detained in Dubai MANDATORY CREDIT
Canadian geologist detained in Dubai for six years is back home after charges dropped

Canadian geologist detained in Dubai for six years is back home after charges dropped

This undated photo provided by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department shows a group of bighorn sheep in North Dakota. Alberta's environment department has known for years that toxins from old coal mines are contaminating populations of the province's official animal, the bighorn sheep. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Bihrle/North Dakota Game and Fish Department via AP, File
Alberta government knew bighorn sheep contaminated with coal mine selenium: scientist

Alberta government knew bighorn sheep contaminated with coal mine selenium: scientist

Most Read