Flooding Task Force: Dams & Water Decisions To Be Discussed Thursday

The provincial task force examining this year’s devastating floods along the Ottawa River wants to get all of the facts on the table about dams and water levels. 

The task force sits down in Pembroke on Thursday for its first big meeting with community leaders, dam operators and other stakeholders. 

Natural Resources and Forestry Minister John Yakabuski says they need to get clear facts about what happened this year, and to put together a timeline on decisions that were made.

"It's going to be about any decisions that were made", Yakabuski told Star 96.7 on Wednesday morning.

"Were they within the water management plans that are laid out in legislation, were there opportunities to do anything differently, how fast did the water come, when did we know that this might be an event?   These are the kinds of questions that we're going to want answers to because they're the questions people want answers to", added Yakabuski.

"We've got to know what we're working with so we can determine what our next steps are", Yakabuski said.

The meeting on Thursday will not be open to the public, but Yakabuski says once water levels go down some more, there will be public sessions to gather more input.

"We will have public meetings when the water has returned to normal and people have had a chance to catch their breath.  But, the appropriate thing to do right now is to hold a meeting with stakeholders, operators, and those who are responsible for decisions that were or were not made", Yakabuski said.

The task force will meet Thursday in Pembroke and then Friday in Ottawa.