Pierrefonds man still battling to rebuild home, three years after it was destroyed by flood
CTV News Montreal Videojournalist
CTV News Montreal Digital Reporter
MONTREAL -- A Pierrefonds man is still battling to rebuild his home, over three years after it was wrecked during spring floods.
Andre Lavigne's home was located on Riviere des Prairies, but was lifted off its foundation by raging water.
Because of stricter environmental laws, Lavigne is not able to rebuild on the same spot. After presenting six different house plans to get a permit, he began moving forward with construction of a house further from the water and closer to Gouin Blvd.
But last year, the province drew up new flood maps which put the kibosh on Lavigne's plan.
“This is ridiculous. This is not a banana republic, this is Canada,” he said. “It's bureaucracy, it's people that really don't even want to take my calls. They just don't care.”
Lavigne says the province is now asking him to pay back the aid he was given after the flood since he's unable to rebuild and is offering to buy his waterfront land for $50,000.
But Lavigne says his land is worth at least $1 million.
“When I bought here, it was only fields. After paying my taxes for 32 years and raising my family here, they want to tell me 'Hey, go home, go somewhere else. Move out.' That's ridiculous.”
For the past three years, Lavigne's family has lived in a trailer on his property and a small downtown apartment. He was supposed to retire in January, but the uncertainty has put that on hold. He said won't let the province buy him out.
“That's my pension. That's what I've worked for all my life. They're not getting it.”