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Politicians in the National Assembly held an emergency debate Tuesday about spring flooding.

Quebec Solidaire had been calling for the debate for weeks, but Premier Francois Legault held off, saying that it was more important at the moment for the government to help people than to debate how flooding could be prevented.

With the floodwaters receding in many places, that debate finally took place.

MNAS began by thanking first responders and volunteers who spent countless hours building and repairing dikes, and getting people out of harm's way.

But then the debate fractured, discussing many angles about exactly why flooding occurred and how it could be prevented or managed.

Quebec Solidaire is calling for a province-wide end to the use of fossil fuels by 2050, arguing that greenhouse gas emissions increase rainfall and extreme flooding events.

The CAQ government said it is important to update maps of flood plains and to discourage people from building -- or rebuilding -- in areas that are likely going to flood at some point.

Quebec Solidaire has accused the CAQ of not seeing the big picture, but Premier Francois Legault said the devastation in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac is exactly why he's looking at the big picture.

Less than two weeks ago one-third of the town's residents had to flee because a dike failed, surrounding more than 1,000 homes with water up to two metres high.

Mayor Sonia Paulus wants to rebuild the dike, and make it higher, but Legault said doing so right now without considering the future is premature.

"I understand that she would like that we rebuild the dike two feet higher than the preceding one and in order to keep all houses but first I want to be sure that it meets environmental considerations and also I want to make sure that we have a permanent solution," said Legault.

Most residents of Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac have now been allowed to return home, but the damage is extensive and this week people are learning how much compensation they will get from the provincial government.

Those who have already attended information sessions have said the government payout will not cover the cost of renovations.

As of Wednesday there are still 5,300 flooded homes in Quebec, mostly in the Gatineau region, and there are 10,475 Quebecers who cannot go home.