News & Issues

Greg Clark Supports Mayor Nenshi’s call for dual flood mitigation solution

Posted on March 17, 2015 by Meagan Parisian

Alberta Party leader Greg Clark applauded Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi for his advocacy for a two-project solution for flood mitigation along the Elbow River.

“Kudos to Mayor Nenshi for advocating for the protection of Downtown Calgary, the economic engine of Canada, and for the safety of Calgarians who live in river communities,” said Clark. “The Alberta Party has been advocating for at least two of the three projects so we are pleased to remain aligned with the Mayor.”

“Protecting the lives and livelihoods of Calgarians and Albertans should be priority for any leader worth their salt and Mayor Nenshi understands that,” said Clark. “It’s extremely disappointing that Jim Prentice and Gord Dirks don’t seem to be taking flood mitigation seriously.”

“Another flood season is quickly approaching and there is a significant risk the Springbank project will be delayed,” said Clark. “If the Environmental Impact Assessment isn’t started by March 31st we will lose an entire construction season. I want the Premier to commit to starting the EIA by March 31 and assure Albertans flood mitigation will be in place by 2018 as promised.”

“There is no bigger issue in Alberta in need of leadership right now than flood mitigation. But the actions from the PCs thus far are totally inadequate. As recently as November 20 Gordon Dirks, professed in the Legislature, that , ‘...the first task of government is to protect its citizens. Never again should Calgarians and Albertans live in fear because of our vulnerability to future devastating floods...’ But what we're seeing from the PCs falls short of an actually understanding of the importance of building sufficient protection."

"Calgarians and Albertans live in fear as a result of government inaction and they will continue to live that way until proper mitigation has been built,’ said Clark

Clark said all three flood mitigation options show a positive return on investment, especially when social and long term economic costs are factored in.

“The studies only looked at the immediate economic costs of any potential flood, while ignoring the social and long term economic costs,” said Clark.

"If Downtown Calgary floods it would force businesses to close offices for up to a year while the city rebuilds. Many of these businesses would choose to relocate to other cities, triggering job losses like we have never seen before."

“Let’s also never forget the five people who lost their lives in the 2013 flood. Many of the thousands of businesses and people directly affected by the flood are still struggling, not only with financial costs, but the ongoing psychological impact from the trauma of flooding. Many are suffering depression, anxiety and even PTSD. They access our health system more frequently, they’re less productive at work and their children are more likely to struggle in school and suffer other long-term consequences.

“Over and above simple compassion for people still struggling with flood trauma, it is important to recognize that social costs create economic costs. There is no question flood mitigation can be justified socially and economically. We must build flood mitigation now.”

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