Cheryl Gallant speaks with Ed Scott andPhil Mallis at Renfrew County Flood Town Hall

THANKING COMMUNITY FLOOD RELIEF VOLUNTEERS

Thank you to the many volunteers and relief workers for their efforts as we deal with the flood of 2019.

I know for many volunteers, filling sandbags is back-breaking work. It can be very heart-breaking to lose irreplaceable family heirlooms to the rising floodwaters. We may not yet have reached the high-level point of the flood. All residents must remain vigilant and reinforce sandbagging where possible and practical.

Right now it is important to stay focused on getting through the crisis safely. Residents are frustrated. They want answers to why the one in a hundred-year flood of 2017 is being repeated two years later in 2019. It is the uncertainty of knowing whether to rebuild or move that is causing significant stress among families. One gentleman told me he spent $74,000 repairing his property after the 2017 flood. Now he is out of pocket for that money and more because the water damage is worse this year.

Unlike any other river in Canada, the Ottawa river is unique as it is governed by federal legislation. If this flooding is caused by human error, and I am not referring to the man-made global warming pretext that is used as an excuse for every policy failure of the Liberal government, the federal government has a moral responsibility to compensate private property owners for their losses. If the fault of the flooding is Ontario Power Generation or Quebec Hydro, it should the federal government that goes after those companies, not individual property owners who do not have the financial resources to take those companies to court.

Residents need answers before they make the decision to rebuild or move. That means we need to be starting now to find answers before winter.” “As the federal Member of Parliament for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, I am committed to an open, transparent process that keeps flood victims well-informed. If enough residents contact me for the need of another public meeting, I will organize that meeting. I encourage all residents to share their stories with me. If flooding is going to be an annual occurrence, people need to be prepared. Part of being prepared is having the correct information to work with.