MONTRÉAL, July 19, 2017. – The Government of Québec announced today that it has made the Order in Council relating to the declaration of a special planning zone in the territories of some some local municipalities affected by the floods that occurred in April and May 2017. In addition, some changes have been made, effective immediately, to the specific financial assistance program relating to the flooding that occurred between April 5 and May 16, 2017, in Quebec’s municipalities. The spring 2017 flooding affected 278 municipalities, flooded more than 5, 300 residences and forced the evacuation of more than 4, 000 people and the closure of several roads.
The Order made today by the Quebec government is a response to this exceptional situation and to feedback from citizens and affected municipalities during the 17 public consultations held last July 10 in 15 Quebec regions.
During these consultations, various issues were raised, particularly regarding possible inequities in the application of the 50% rule relating to reconstruction and the risk of depopulation in some residential neighbourhoods. These changes do not, however, alter the government’s intention to apply the Protection Policy for Lakeshores, Riverbanks, Littoral Zones and Floodplains and to ensure compliance with its provisions.
During the public consultations, listened to the concerns of residents and the affected municipalities. This is why we made changes to the Draft Order and the financial assistance program and have proposed concrete solutions to some of the concerns raised. Nonetheless, the government has to act in a responsible manner, to ensure the safety of the people of Quebec and to prevent the devastating impacts that future flooding could have.
– Martin Coiteux, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Minister of Public Security and Minister responsible for the Montréal region
In the context of adapting to climate change, the Government of Québec must review the management of risks associated with flooding, which requires the application of the Protection Policy for Lakeshores, Riverbanks, Littoral Zones and Floodplains everywhere in Quebec. This fall, we will also proceed with an in-depth review to plan for the future differently and to be more resilient in the face of flooding and other impacts of climate change.
– David Heurtel, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change
- On June 23, 2017, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy published a Draft Order relating to the declaration of a special planning zone in the territory of certain local municipalities affected by these floods in the Gazette officielle du Québec.
- Public consultations on the Draft Order were held on July 10 in the 15 affected administrative regions to present the proposed interventions and to listen to citizens’ concerns. Approximately 2,130 people attended the consultations and more than 300 spoke.
- The amendments to the Draft Order are as follows:
- the full reconstruction cost of a building rather than its municipal valuation will be used to decide whether reconstruction will take place or not;
- in order to prevent the depopulation of some residential neighbourhoods, municipalities will be allowed to submit to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy a request for an exceptional collective exemption to rebuild several primary residences in a neighbourhood affected by the floods, subject to certain exceptional requirements.
- Some changes have been made to the specific financial assistance program relating to the flooding that occurred between April 5 and May 16, 2017 in Quebec’s municipalities, as follows:
- make eligible the cost to protect a residence that falls below the maximum sum of $200,000;
- if the owner of a residence transfers ownership of land on which a residence is located to a municipality, make eligible the value of the land, to a maximum of $250,000, in addition to a maximum of $200,000 for the building.
- As of July 19, more than $25.9 million have been distributed to flood victims. In addition, 4,997 claims are open, 95% of inspections have been carried out, a 3% increase compared to last week, and 1, 072 flood inspection reports have been delivered to victims.
- A forum on future solutions for flood management to take place this fall will address:
- watershed management;
- the mapping and management of flood-risk areas, taking climate change into account;
- land use plans and urban planning, as well as the revision of the flood-risk area regulatory framework.
- A meeting will also be held to assess the impacts of the floods that occurred in Quebec in the spring of 2017 and the interventions in response to them. The people involved at the municipal level, particularly elected representatives, city managers and fire safety service managers will be among participants.
Spring flooding: land use plans: http://www.mamot.gouv.qc.ca/ministere/inondations-printanieres-2017-amenagement-du-territoire/
Address of the temporary disaster assistance offices: http://www.securitepublique.gouv.qc.ca/securite-civile/aide-financiere-bonifiee-2017/seances-information.html
Specific financial assistance program relating to the flooding that occurred between April 5 and May 16, 2017 in Quebec’s municipalities: http://www.securitepublique.gouv.qc.ca/en/civil-protection/financial-disaster-victims/special-financial-assistance-program-flooding-2017.html
Information on the Protection Policy for Lakeshores, Riverbanks, Littoral Zones and Floodplains: http://www.mddelcc.gouv.qc.ca/eau/rives