Flood zone debacle riles Fabre residents

By Robert Frank

Fabre riding is inundated with resentment against Parti québécois pressure to phase in flood zone measures precipitously in Laval.

Residents saw the value of their homes drop instantly by as much as 30 percent, after the province strong-armed Laval into imposing new flood-zone restrictions on homeowners.

As The Suburban went to press, the Western Laval citizens committee (CCLO) was slated to hold its second meeting this month on the issue, March 24.

“Back in November, we suggested to Nicole Léger, the minister responsible for Laval, that we shouldn’t have to wait for experts to complete a research study for residents to find out who will be affected by this new regulation,” Gilles Ouimet told The Suburban.

“She should have told them back in November and started to discuss possible solutions,” the Quebec Liberal Party MNA, who is campaigning for reelection in Fabre riding, said in an interview.

“She ought to have convened everyone around the table,” he added, “the Environment Ministry, the mayor, councillors and CCLO members to represent the citizens who are affected, and embarked on a transparent, open and fair process of solving the problem.”

“Instead, the Parti québécois government is saying that it wants to wait until an expert report is published in June, before it will entertain potential solutions,” Ouimet continued. “That has left everyone in the dark, and no one knows what ultimately will happen.”

“That’s an unacceptable way to treat citizens,” he asserted, “so we’re developing a close relationship with CCLO that will permit us to work effectively with them, once we’re elected to form the government.”

Ouimet was cautiously optimistic about the inroads that the Quebec Liberal Party has made in Laval since the start of the provincial election campaign two weeks ago.

“We feel that the wind is blowing in the right direction,” he said. “We see it on the ground. We get a completely different reception when we go door-to-door this time ‘round, compared to the last election.”

“We have to keep working, of course,” he concluded, “but it’s a very positive sign.”
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