CALGARY, AB (October 4, 2013): The PC government must translate Flood Symposium talk into action, ensure all flood maps are updated to ensure proper mitigation and fix the considerable issues that still remain with the roll out of the Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) for flood victims, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith welcomed today’s symposium, but said many Albertans are hoping that the government won’t hesitate in addressing the challenges faced across Alberta after June’s flooding. “We’re pleased that the government is finally taking the conversation on mitigation seriously,” Smith said. “However, it’s now been over a hundred days since June’s flooding and we are sitting on a series of previous mitigation reports that were never implemented. I think Albertans will be looking for concrete action after today’s symposium.” Despite the PC government insisting otherwise, flood maps remain out of date across Alberta. In Calgary, the flood map was last updated in 1996, while in High River the flood map was last updated in 1992. “Let’s begin by redrawing our flood zone maps then we can properly draw up a comprehensive plan for mitigation so as Albertans we can rebuild safely and responsibly,” Smith said. Smith added that she hopes the government will consider doing a more fulsome review of Alberta’s emergency warning system. “There were several gaps in the early days of the flood that need to be reviewed and improved,” Smith said. Wildrose MLA Jeff Wilson said that while the government today focused on mitigation planning, which will be a critical piece in preventing future damage, many flood victims are being left short changed by the current roll out of the DRP, despite Premier Alison Redford promising that no flood victims would be left behind. “From Medicine Hat, to High River, to Calgary there are countless stories from flood victims who are saying the roll-out of funding is just not working,” Wilson said. “Let’s remember, there are still homeowners in Medicine Hat awaiting DRP funding from floods in 2010 and 2011. This needs to be fixed.” In July, the Wildrose released 22 recommendations of what should have been done to better prepare for June’s flooding, how relief and recovery efforts must be improved, what should be done to help victims recover and how the province can mitigate the damage caused by future flooding.