Fix The Disaster Relief Program
Posted on October 23, 2014 by Greg Clark
The 2013 flood and the clean up that followed was an experience which no Albertan wants to relive. And for many people directly impacted by the worst natural disaster in Canadian history, working through the processes put in place by the PC government to access relief funds needlessly prolonged this terrible experience.
Of the more than 10,000 Albertans who applied for relief funds 2,600 Albertans still haven’t had their claims reviewed nearly year-and-a-half after the flood. With a six month appeal process, many applicants will be waiting up to two years after the flood to receive assistance.
This is completely unacceptable.
The PCs floodway buyouts hollowed out our communities and didn’t help the majority of families. As of October 3rd, $84 million in provincial tax dollars had been spent on 42 homes in Alberta instead of going towards upstream flood mitigation measures. The PC government spent more on buyouts than they did on DRP.
We can do better for Alberta
As your MLA, I will fight to ensure that the government lives up to its responsibility to provide DRP funds and spend public funds effectively to mitigate destruction from future floods. Here’s my plan:
1. Advocate for people struggling for DRP funds
Albertans need timely access to relief funds so they can rebuild and move on with their lives. The residents of Calgary Elbow have gone too long without an MLA to stand up for them and help get even a portion of what was promised in DRP funds.
2. Build Flood Mitigation Now
We need more than one flood mitigation project to protect downtown Calgary and river communities. I support the Springbank dry dam and believe the province should proceed with the Glenmore Diversion Tunnel as soon as possible because the Glenmore Tunnel is more likely to be completed with minimal delays. Learn more and sign our petition calling for immediate flood mitigation.
3. Sell floodway buyout properties back into the market
The Alberta Party is the only party with a policy to re-sell buyout properties into the market once flood mitigation is in place to recover at least a portion of the money wasted on buyouts. As important, this will help make our communities whole again.
Send a message for real change
As a resident of a river community I know what it’s like to deal with the devastation of a flood and I never want my family, my neighbours or any Albertans to go through it again. As the MLA for Calgary-Elbow I will fight to make flood issues a top priority for the government so residents receive the relief funds they desperately need and ensure they are protected from future flooding.