Quebec pledges to do more to support flood victims

Quebec's Public Security Minister announced Friday morning that the Liberal Party is implementing a new program for how it handles natural disasters, including like the one Montrealers experienced with the spring floods in 2017. 

$90 million is being allocated over the next five years to the new program, which aims to reduce the amount of red tape that flood victims have to deal with in the immediate aftermath. 

Minister Coiteux says that the government received hundreds of calls per day from flood victims who had questions about what they were entitled to, and when they could expect relief. As a result, the public security office decided to overhaul the way it handles major flooding events. 

30 government employees will be deployed throughout the various regions of Quebec on a permanent, full-time basis to speed up the damage evaluation process, making it easier for those affected to access the funds they are entitled to in a timely manner.

Previously, victims of flooding were waiting four months on average to receive 50% of the funds they were eligible for. Coiteux says that people can expect to receive 85% of the funds within a month and a half of being forced from their homes. Coiteux said that 86% of those who were displaced during last spring's floods have gotten their money. The minister estimates that there are about 40 people still living in hotels.

Coiteux also announced a new pilot project being put into place with select municipalities, including Laval, Gatineau, Deux-Montagnes and Vaudreuil-Soulanges, giving individual cities and municipalities more control over how funds and flood response are managed.