Municipal leaders on the Island of Montreal say Quebec needs better communication and less haste after the province released an updated flood zone map eliminating 17 cities and boroughs primarily on the West Island.
After wide-scale flooding in 2017 and 2019, the province flagged 813 municipalities on a map released in June that were placed in "special intervention zones" that put new construction and reconstruction on hold.
Beaconsfield was one of those flagged originally, and Mayor Georges Bourelle felt the CAQ government acted hastily.
"We were very surprised to suddenly find ourselves suddenly on the map," he said. "At the end of 2017 and 2019, we were rather pleased to find in Beaconsfield everything had been fine without any flooding."
The Quebec Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing issued a third draft of the map after a public outcry and lobbying from Bourelle and other mayors with Dorval, Beaconsfield, and 15 other municipalities were removed from the flood zone.
"(We were) very happy that finally, we were able to convince Minister (Andrée) Laforest and her staff that we should be removed from the map," said Bourelle.
Pierrefonds-Roxboro was one of the hardest-hit areas during the two flood years. Mayor Jim Beis wants changes to infrastructure like sewers and more open communication lines.
"We can talk about flood maps, but we need to absolutely talk about potential solutions as well, permanent solutions within a community like ours," he said.
Both mayors spoke about the need for Quebec to listen to municipalities' concerns and arguments before drafting another map.
"Wouldn’t this have been so much easier if they would have, from the beginning, met with the communities and gotten it right from the get go instead of piecemeal having to adjust as we go forward," said Beis.
A spokesperson for the minister said the map was changed because they wanted to provide a more detailed flood zone map. The ministry is working on a fourth map and municipalities have until Aug. 19 to make their cases for more changes.