WATCH: Public security minister pledges to step up aid for spring flood victims
Public security minister Martin Coiteux admitted on Tuesday that his response to last spring's flooding was far from perfect.
Four months after flooding affected large parts of the West Island and the Vaudreuil-Soulanges area, Coiteux says his department will put representatives in flood-affected areas to help speed up the aid process.
Many residents who've been going through the process say they've grown frustrated in their dealings with government representatives, saying they're often asked to send in the same documents over and over again — provided they can actually get in touch with government agents by phone.
"We're hearing the message on the ground that we could be doing better," Coiteux said at a news conference in Pierrefonds. "It is now obvious that we need to do more."
Local resident René Leblanc says coordination has definitely been lacking.
"There's been no triage right from day one, to establish a sense of urgency, depending on the nature of the damage," he says.
About 5,900 claims have been made for provincial assistance since the floods. So far, just 3,100 of them have been reviewed. Only $35 million of the $350 million dollars the government expects to deliver in flood assistance has already gone out to the victims.
Coiteux suggests the government was overwhelmed with the thousands of claims received since the floods hit. Usually, it handles no more than a few dozen claims per year.
Locals are hoping basic repairs can be completed before the onset of winter.
-CJAD 800's Emily Campbell contributed to this report.