Quebec promises new assistance, but many 2019 flood victims say they haven't been compensated
MONTREAL - The provincial minister of public security on Monday announced "special" measures to help flooding victims, many of whom say they haven't received government assistance.
Speaking in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault said she recognized that those affected by the flooding earlier this year felt "distressed" and "worried." She promised to help but didn't say how the CAQ government would improve the claims procedure for flood victims, or what new programs they would implement.
Last spring, the government announced a program to give up to $200,000 to flood victims who were forced to move. But, six months after floodwaters burst a dike in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, forcing 6,000 people to abandon their homes, the majority of victims have only received part of the compensation the government promised them.
Many Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac homes had to be demolished. Residents are moving away, but they're waiting on government funds, and many haven't received it yet -- like David Nault, whose home was devastated by the flood.
"Financially, everything is still in limbo," he said. "We received a small amount from the [Ministry of public service], and now we're still waiting, and nothing's moving."
Only 20 per cent of flood victims in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac have received government compensation. Guilbeault said the process is going well: many of the 1,500 claims in the town have been partially reimbursed, and files are being processed faster than after the 2017 flood, the minister said.
Nault sold his house to a developer who will demolish it in the coming weeks. He's trying to find another place to live before winter comes.
He doesn't trust his municipal government and is taking part in a class-action lawsuit against the provincial government and town authorities that alleges the town's dike should have been repaired before the 2019 floods.
With files from The Canadian Press and CTV Montreal's Amanda Kline