Quebec increasing compensation for flood victims
Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017 8:13PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 18, 2017 7:49AM EDT
The provincial government is increasing the amount of money available to flood victims.
Premier Philippe Couillard said the cap of compensation would rise from $159,000 to $200,000 per residence. More people will also be eligible for aid.
"I realize in certain expensive homes it's not going to cover everything, but if we look at most Quebec homes, it will cover a significant share of the appropriation," said Couillard.
The payout for damages on certain items is going to increase from 80 to 90 percent.
The amount of compensation for major appliances, such as washers, dryers, and refrigerators, is also going to increase.
Most notable is the change for people who were not previously eligible.
People whose secondary properties were flooded, or for those who were renting an abode, or had a family member staying in a home, will now be eligible for financial compensation.
"This will cost the public purse a considerable amount, but but we are able to cover this cost because of our fiscal prudence," said Couillard.
Homeowners who choose not to rebuilding will be entitled to up to $200,000, plus the cost of their land up to $50,000.
"I visited Gatineau where there are low to middle income people and some of them have been there for three generations. I'm not going to tell people pack your bags we're moving you away," said Couillard.
He also said that rebuilding would be permitted wherever cities are allowing people to build, and although the province wouldn't stop people from rebuilding, that Quebecers should discuss building in floodplains.
"If we have to pay out this amount every four years, nobody is going to be happy. We still believe the size, amplitude of the event is exceptional," said Couillard.
Public Securtiy Minister Martin Coiteux reiterated that idea.
"In the future of course we have to do a better job of long term planning with the cities. That means updating the flood plains maps," said Coiteux.
More than 1,000 people have already filed for help.
At its peak more than 5,000 were forced to leave their homes during the flooding, although the actual number of people affected is much higher since rivers were lowering in the Montreal area as other rivers rose further north.
As of Wednesday afternoon about 3,500 were not at home because of flooding.