After buildings, homes and whole communities were destroyed in the floods that ravaged much of southern Alberta, the provincial government stepped up with a show of support by pledging $1 billion to go towards helping with flood relief efforts.
However, not everyone affected is overly happy about the message being sent by the government. Some of those affected by floods are feeling like they are being forced out of their homes or beloved neighbourhoods.
While the Alberta government has stated it will offer funding to rebuild and/or repair damaged homes in floodways, it has also stated that they do not intend to do this again should buildings in flood plains be flooded in the future.
This means that if affected parties choose to rebuild in the same areas (that is, in the flood plains) rather than move elsewhere, they will be responsible for the cost of damages should such a flood occur again.
In addition, the government has released some new guidelines stating that homes rebuilt in certain areas need to be flood-proofed.
Some flood victims have said they feel as if the government is sugar-coating its true message and by saying it will not foot the bill for flood damages a second time if residents do not move, what the government really means is “Get out or get wet.”
But is it so wrong for the government to expect some kind of preventive measures to be made along with the rebuilding?
Certainly, no one should expect the government to continue to pay for the damage of floods every time it happens should they?
Hundreds of thousands of dollars from a number of organizations were raised for the flood relief efforts. Many Lacombians donated heavily to that effort as well. For example, the local Sobeys raised over $8,000 to that cause.
How will those individuals, the ones who generously donated to these campaigns, feel if the next time there is a flood, everything their money helped to rebuild was destroyed once again because no preventive measures were taken?
Let’s not forget either that the $1 billion pledged by the Alberta government came from all Albertans.
Those are our tax dollars at work.
Definitely a worthy cause to support but certainly not something we want to be funding every time there is a flood.
And it’s likely there will be another flood. Science suggests that the climate in Alberta is changing. Where it was once predictable and disasters like these often came with much warning, this is no longer the case.
No matter what, the disaster of this summer’s floods should be seen not only as a time to rebuild but a time to improve as well.
Even if the government did not require it, who would want to put themselves through such a tragedy as to have their home destroyed by flood again?