Hundreds of Quebecers still waiting for settlements after historic 2017 flooding
The Quebec government is currently running an ad campaign urging Quebecers to be prepared for possible spring flooding, as it has become an increased risk in many regions of the province.
The trouble is, there are still about 1,800 Quebec households that are waiting for financial or other assistance from the C-A-Q government.
Île Bizard's, Nick Meace, is one of the homeowners who has been struggling to keep his head above water and the rising tide of government red tape. Meace told CJAD 800 that the process for compensation "has been a giant gong show," adding he and his ex were the ones "being forced to suck it up."
Under the previous Liberal government, Meace said he "was quick to give accolades" because they were issued an initial cheque within days of the flooding. However, as the flood receded from media headlines that's when things got quiet.
"There was a lot of follow-up. So, we had an inspection of our house. It took seven months to actually get our Inspection Report and when we got it, it was wrong," said Meace. "We were constantly having to send more photos to make sure that they were judging our claim on our actual house."
At one point provincial bureaucrats told Meace and his then-partner that their living room was in the basement and they weren't sure about being able to reimburse for furniture and other expenses.
"The thing is that our house doesn't have a basement," laughed Meace.
In the middle of all of this the municipality went and reassessed the property (it hadn't been done in about nine years), which increased the value of the home. Had Meace not pushed the provincial government on this point, they would have missed out on $50,000.
Meace describes the situation as a comedy of errors. Île Bizard decided that their house could be rebuilt despite the fact that his front and back yards were considered to be on the flood plain, but his house was on a higher patch of land.
After being in a holding pattern all winter due to frozen ground, his situation changed quickly.
"This week we got the news that the construction guy had an open spot and so he came and did it over the weekend, so it's another step closer to our claim being finalized with the government, but yeah, it's been a very long road to get to this point.
Despite provincial government promises of assistance for victims, the financial impact to Meace and his ex-partner has been jaw-dropping. He and his ex were unable to continue living in the home and had to find rental apartments.
"I’ve paid $16,000 in rent while also paying the mortgage on the house," said Meace. "Add in what (my ex) has paid and that’s probably about $28,000 or so in additional accommodation expenses."
But wait, there's more.
"On top of the rent we’ve had to pay, we had to take out a $50,000 loan to cover the difference between the mortgage and the indemnity we're receiving."
Meace hopes that their claim will soon be done, but there are many other Quebecers who are still waiting for progress on their files.
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