Taxpayers shouldn't pay to repair homes every couple years: Legault
Government officials toured some of the regions hardest hit so far by this spring's flooding over the weekend, promising faster help for flood victims this time around.
"We will continue to make it easier for citizens to recuperate and go back to a normal life" Health Minister Danielle McCann said as she toured some of the flood zones in Rigaud. "It's going to be much quicker for sure. I cannot give a timeline but it's clear from out Minister of Public Safety that it'll be quicker than in the past."
The latest numbers from Urgence Québec have more than 2,300 homes affected by flooding, 706 homes swamped and more than 1,260 people forced to leave.
On Ile Bigras, off the southeast edge of Laval, about two dozen soldiers unloaded a truck full of sandbags on Sunday as they worked to reinforce a concrete barrier only metres from the rushing river.
Public affairs officer Pierre Leblanc said the army's priority would be filling and stacking sandbags and protecting critical infrastructure near the river, which he said was rising about one centimetre each hour.
He said some 600 soldiers had been deployed across the province, including about 200 in the Laval area.
Rene Rousseau lives in one of the many homes affected on Ile Bigras. Two years ago, his dream home was heavily damaged by the floods in 2017.
"The cost was close to $300,000 and I received from the government $16,000" Rousseau told CTV Montreal.
Cases like Rousseau's are the ones Premier Francois Legault said he and his team want to examine closely. He told reporters he would like to see people living in areas susceptible to flooding to move so that taxpayers aren't stuck with repair bills every couple of years.
"We've seen some people it's the second time they've been hit in the last three years. We're reviewing the programs to make sure taxpayers don't pay too much for rebuilding places that will be touched often," Legault said. "We will give incentive to move."
Water levels are not at the levels they reached in 2017, but some believe they could there and possibly exceed by the middle of this week.
Environment Canada meteorologist Marie-Eve Giguere said so far the bulk of the flooding has been caused by melting snow, with the recent heavy rainfalls already behind us. Temperatures will stay in the double digit highs through the week, which will cause more melting and there is some rain in the forecast for Wednesday.
- CJAD 800s Luciano Pipia contributed to this report
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