Trudeau says country must talk about how and where to rebuild after floods

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn’t close the door Sunday on using federal dollars to help relocate communities facing the recurring threat of severe flooding.

Flooding in New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario has forced the evacuation of thousands, and threatened more property as water continues to rise with peaks not expected along the Ottawa River until Tuesday.

Since the Liberals took office in late 2015, the government has approved almost $1.27 billion in funding for 41 projects deemed “disaster mitigation,” according to federal figures. The numbers show that only a handful of projects have started and many will take years to complete.

In the meantime, Trudeau suggested, the federal government needed to make sure future infrastructure spending hit the “right” projects to “protect our communities and ensure their prosperity long-term.”

He said the country needed to look “new ways of ensuring” Canada was doing just that.

“Once we secure the situation through this spring flooding season, we will have to have significant reflections and conversations on how we move forward,” he said at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“(T)here is always much more to do and as we have conversations around how we build back, how we build back better and where we build back, indeed, the federal government will be a partner to the provinces and to the municipalities.”

Flooding is the most common disaster event in Canada and has been a focus of funding through the $2 billion, 10-year Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund that Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne oversees.

Champagne plans to fast-track projects that could prevent flooding in areas currently under siege, but warned in a recent interview that not every project would be approved, particularly those that might not be able to hold back Mother Nature.

Federal assistance to provinces for natural disaster costs is estimated to be $198.35 million this fiscal year, which ends March 2020, even though last year’s estimates pegged the cost at $609 million.

On CTV’s Question Period, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the program, called the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement, has paid out more in the last six years than it did in the previous 40 years. He said the government would look at Quebec’s proposals, and referenced the decision in High River, Alta., to not allow redevelopment in flooded areas.

“Building better infrastructure, protective devices is also part of the equation, but we’ll look at the proposal for relocation,” Goodale said in the interview televised Sunday morning.

Just Posted

Red Deer stamp-collecting event a hit, local club expected to start in fall

Postage stamp-loving Red Deerians can expect to have a place to gather… Continue reading

Red Deer woman one of three arrested by Sundre RCMP

The 19-year-old had numerous arrest warrants out of various jurisdictions

Businessman and volunteer named 2019 Citizen of the Year

John Donald’s parents and sister were each honoured previously

School leader named Red Deer Young Citizen of the Year

Leading by example at Hunting Hills High School

Suspects shot at pursuing police during crime spree

No police officers were injured in May 17 shooting

WATCH: Sunnybrook Farm Museum in Red Deer welcomes spring

Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating spring in Red Deer. On Saturday, the… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Stan Lee’s former manager arrested on elder abuse charges

LOS ANGELES — A former business manager of Stan Lee has been… Continue reading

BCUC sets out process for gas and diesel price inquiry, set to wrap Aug. 30

VANCOUVER — The British Columbia Utilities Commission says it has set out… Continue reading

2 hikers rescued after darkness sets in on trail near Cypress Mountain

North Shore Rescue says it rescued two hikers caught in the darkness… Continue reading

Canada beats Czech Republic to advance to gold-medal game at world championship

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Canada’s latest win at the world hockey championship left… Continue reading

Rimouski forward Lafreniere, Prince Albert goaltender Scott earn CHL awards

HALIFAX — Rimouski Oceanic star Alexis Lafreniere has been named the Canadian… Continue reading

10 wounded as gunmen open fire outside New Jersey bar

TRENTON, N.J. — Authorities say at least two gunmen fired into a… Continue reading

Mississippi rep accused of punching wife issues statement

JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi lawmaker accused of recently punching his wife… Continue reading

Most Read