N.B. offers compensation for cottages damaged by historic flooding

FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick government will compensate cottage owners whose properties were damaged by record-breaking flooding, while also requiring people with waterfront properties to develop plans to mitigate against future floods.

Environment and Local Government Minister Andrew Harvey announced the special, one-time payment in Fredericton on Wednesday, weeks after floodwaters first swept through several communities along the Saint John River causing extensive damage to primary and recreational homes.

The river — swollen by heavy rains and snow melt — swamped homes throughout the region and caused some cottages to collapse, with some even floating off their foundations.

“Providing assistance to recreational property owners will ensure potential health and safety risks are removed and the natural environment in these communities is restored,” Harvey said at a briefing Wednesday.

“We can’t leave properties affected with contaminants or garbage, furniture (and) appliances that washed up on people’s properties. We need to have this program so that people can clean up their own properties.”

Particularly hard hit was the Grand Lake area, where recreational properties were inundated with water and debris was scattered throughout the popular summer vacation spot.

Harvey said cottage owners must apply for the financial relief and that payments will be capped at $6,100 to help clean up their property. The money can be used for labour and contracted cleanup costs. Claims will be assessed by adjusters after property owners register the damage with the province by phone or online.

“There could be 2,000 recreational properties that could be affected by the flooding,” he said, adding that officials don’t yet know how much the new compensation will cost.

The province said it will also require people to submit plans that include new mitigation conditions before permits will be issued under the Watercourse and Wetland Alteration regulation.

Harvey said people wanting to do work on their property must have the permit if within 30 metres of a waterway. This includes new building construction, reconstruction or expansion of existing buildings.

He said the goal is to reduce the likelihood that a building or its contents will be damaged by flood. The fees for permits will be waived to encourage people to comply.

David Coon, leader of the provincial Green Party, said the province should have gone further in setting down requirements to avoid flooding in the future.

The member of the legislature said the province wasn’t strict enough in the past decade in preventing building close to the water and cutting down vegetation and trees near the water.

“Routinely, government for years has been handing out permits that permitted that to happen,” said the environmentalist, who argues it would be better to generally prohibit building closer than 30 metres to the water.

The Green leader is also looking for provincial regulations that will limit new construction in flood plains.

“Nobody should have the disaster of having their home flooded out. The government shouldn’t be handing out exemptions to a regulation that would help avoid a property being damaged or destroyed by flood waters,” he said.

Just Posted

Driver who backed into Red Deer pizzeria sentenced

David Andrew Amstutz sentenced for failing to remain at the crash scene

Shaw getting ready to raise prices for its main residential service, CEO says

CALGARY — Residential customers of Shaw Communications Inc. will likely see a… Continue reading

Inflation accelerates as higher airfares, vegetable prices offset cheaper gas

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation rate accelerated to two per cent last… Continue reading

Alberta couple wants cash and charges dropped in meningitis death of their son

CALGARY — An Alberta couple facing a second trial in the meningitis… Continue reading

Moose Jaw wants to challenge Norway for tallest moose statue title

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The City of Moose Jaw, Sask., is on… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Opinion: Pipelines shouldn’t rely on ethnicity

It’s noteworthy that Indigenous leaders are exploring the possibility of buying the… Continue reading

Team World sweeps opening day against Team North America at Continental Cup

LAS VEGAS — Team North America has some serious ground to make… Continue reading

SXSW to screen ‘Run This Town,’ which includes Rob Ford character

TORONTO — A drama that features a portrayal of the late Toronto… Continue reading

Fans buy ‘Little House on the Prairie’ star’s memorabilia

GENOA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — More than 200 items belonging to “Little House… Continue reading

Most Read