No Mention of Flood Mitigation in Mandate Letter is Bad News for Flooded Communities
October 06, 2014
Greg Clark, leader of the Alberta Party and candidate for Calgary Elbow, questioned why flood mitigation was left out of the mandate letter given to Kyle Fawcett, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, the ministry tasked with implementing upstream flood mitigation.
“The 2013 flood was the largest natural disaster in Canadian history,” said Clark. “Excluding flood mitigation from the mandate of the Minister sends a clear message that flood mitigation has been put on the backburner by Prentice.”
Clark noted that southern Alberta will flood again and called for urgent action to prevent widespread damage, potential loss of life and economic loss in downtown Calgary and beyond.
“It is only a matter of time until the next flood hits,” said Clark. “Southern Alberta has suffered floods far worse than what we saw in 2013 and we know for sure it will happen again, and when it does the damage caused will be on the PC’s watch.”
Clark questioned why Prentice chose to emphasize the FireSmart program over flood mitigation.
“Premier Prentice had the opportunity to make flood mitigation a priority for the Minister but he chose instead to focus on forest fires,” said Clark. “What message does that send to the people of Calgary Elbow and other Southern Alberta communities devastated by flooding?
Clark, a lifelong resident of Elbow Park, one of the areas hit hardest by the flood, invited Jim Prentice to tour ravaged Calgary Elbow with him.
“Until you have seen the devastation first-hand, it is hard to understand what Calgary families have gone through over the past 15 months,” said Clark. “First, the impact of the flood. Second, the psychological impact of the disaster. And third, being abandoned by our own government.”
Clark, who co-founded the Calgary River Communities Action Group in response to the 2013 floods, has worked alongside his neighbours in rebuilding their community. As leader of the Alberta Party he has spearheaded the creation of the comprehensive Alberta Party Flood Recovery and Prevention Framework.
“For more than a year, the government has been so preoccupied with scandals that it hasn’t been able to help the folks living here get back on their feet,” said Clark. “Many have simply given up on the government.”
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David Benson, Media Relations