Home owners in flood zones could get up to $200,000 to move: Legault
Published Monday, April 22, 2019 5:48PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 23, 2019 1:48PM EDT
Over the weekend Premier Francois Legault said people who have built homes in flood plains should move out, and that the government should not be paying people to restore homes damaged by floodwater.
"We've seen some people it's the second time they've been hit in the last three years. We're reviewing the programs to make sure taxpayers don't pay too much for rebuilding places that will be touched often," he said. "We will give incentive to move."
On Monday Legault reiterated his stance while touring the Gatineau region.
"I think it's important. We can't have compensation every year to solve problems but only on a temporary basis," he said. "We'll offer a maximum of $200,000 to move to another house."
But home owners said they're worried about how such a program would affect them.
"It kind of makes me nervous. I'm afraid that they're going to try to push people out of their homes and that they're not going to get full value of what their properties are worth," said Laval resident Andreena Graham.
Graham said she only received partial compensation from the provincial government after the 2017 floods and only recently finished rebuilding her basement.
Geography professor Jeannine-Marie St. Jacques said that Legault's proposal was an encouraging step.
"People have built into the flood zones, have built into the flood plains, and that's a mistake because naturally these areas are going to flood normally, and even without global warming on top of it. Saying we shouldn't be building here is a step in the right direction," said St. Jacques.
She said municipalities in Quebec rely on property taxes and so have incentives to allow homeowners to build, while it's the provincial and federal government that bail out homeowners of damaged property.
Another issue is out-of-date information.
"Quebec either has old flood maps or no flood maps, so from the 2017 flooding at least we benefitted from that so it forced the government to move, and by 2020 we will have complete flood maps for the province," said St. Jacques.