Flood victim still waiting for full compensation, 15 months later
Nearly a year and a half after spring floods devastated several Quebec communities, some who were affected are still waiting to receive compensation owed by the provincial government.
Martin Hensen, 81, sold his Deux-Montagnes home shortly after it was severely damaged in the spring, 2017 floods. He moved into a condo with his wife, who he said has suffered health problems that began at about the same time as the flooding.
In October, the provincial government told Hensen he was entitled to $37,000 in compensation, but since then, he said he’s received only $17,000.
"I called the ombudsman, he went after them," he said. "He said 'We decided you're going to get another $1,050.' I said, 'Wait a minute: that makes only $19,000. I sent you bills for $35,000.'"
Hensen said the stress of the situation has made him consider giving up his fight for the rest of the money.
“Normally I can handle things very well. I’m used to stress, I was a bank manager for 42 years,” he said. “But this is real stress. It’s a government I trusted, I voted for them and this is what they do.”
When the home was first evaluated, the inspector didn’t believe it had been flooded, until he saw the CTV report.
“If you guys wouldn’t have been there and taken the video or if my nephew hadn’t come by, I wouldn’t have gotten a nickel,” said Hensen.
The public security ministry declined to comment on Hensen’s claim, saying it doesn’t discuss individual cases.
It did say, however, that the evaluations were carried out by a professional and that in some cases, victims were compensated by their private insurance.
They said that while some money is initially handed out for compensation, the final payments are made only when work is completed.
They suggest that anyone with concerns about their case should call 1 888 643-2433.
According to the Red Cross, there are still 12 families province-wide living in hotels or apartments, awaiting compensation.