Beaconsfield mayor vows to get properties off flood map using 'all means necessary'
Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle
Published Thursday, July 18, 2019 9:30PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 13, 2019 4:34PM EDT
The City of Beaconsfield now says it is prepared to use "all means necessary" to have the "falsely identified properties" in the province's flood zone map removed.
The West Island city is trying to have the 152 homes removed from the map because those that are considering within the flood zone fall under a moratorium for building or rebuilding.
In a statement released Thursday evening, Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle said he has given a mandate to a law firm to determine legal options failing the withdrawal of the properties. The city also sent letters to the affected homes Thursday night to inform them of the order and obtain a declaration by them to "defend their interest."
"Our history shows that our citizens have never been affected by floods in 2017, 2019 or at any other time. That's a fact. The Ministry's flood zone maps do not withstand a thorough analysis of the actual reality on our territory in Beaconsfield," said Bourelle in the statement.
The first version of the flood zone map, based on areas that flooded in 2017 and 2019, was revealed earlier this month and on it, almost 200 properties in Beaconsfield were identified as at risk.
A revised version of the map was released earlier this week, removing 30 municipalities from the list; Beaconsfield was not one of them.
Bourelle said that on Monday he requested meetings with Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Andrée Laforest and Minister Responsible for Montreal Chantal Rouleau to ask them to withdraw the properties. In an interview with CTV Montreal on Monday, the suburban mayor called the Legault government 'incompetent' and said his trust in them is broken.
In the statement Thursday, he said those properties are not and have never been at risk because Lac Saint-Louis waters in Beaconsfield are controlled by the St. Lawrence Seaway; the seaway flood level is lower than the flood thresholds of Lac Saint-Louis.
"The impact of such a designation has serious negative consequences for the owners, not only in financial terms, for it devalues their property, but also at the emotional level due to the concerns and uncertainties this causes," he said. "In Beaconsfield, this designation is as erroneous as unjustified."
The government is giving municipalities until Aug. 19 to contest their inclusion on the map