Alberta Government Announces Flood Recovery Compensation Plan

By: Daniel Rattanamahattana on July 16, 2013

The Alberta government announced details of its flood recovery and mitigation plan in Calgary on Sunday.  The plan identifies how the government will distribute the previously announced $1 billion of disaster relief aid for homeowners without home insurance.

The province will allow people to continue living in high-risk flood zones, but any development of new subdivisions will be strictly prohibited.  The government wants to reduce potential damages in the event of another unexpected disaster.  Reports dating back to 2006 criticized the Alberta government for continuing to green light property development in the flood plains.

Doug Griffiths, Alberta’s Minister of Municipal Affairs, also heads the Flood Recovery Task Force, which is overseeing the flood recovery plan.  Griffiths says people deserve the right to continue living where they choose, but stresses that continuing to live in the flood plains disqualifies residents from relief financing in the event of future disasters.

Funding under the disaster recovery program is not insurance.  It comes with conditions.”

The government and the IBC say all damage claims will be reviewed on an individual basis, and that some homeowners could qualify for more compensation than others.  But Griffiths and other officials say the financing will only provide repairs for what are considered industry standards.  Residents will be compensated for appliances, furniture, and other lost products based on the typical market value of those items rather than their true replacement cost. Households with high end or luxurious brands will not be fully compensated for their losses.

Homeowners with property situated in the flood plains will receive financial support for relocating to higher ground if they choose to do so.  Griffiths says people will likely be compensated for their land or provided new property at equal market value “but it will depend on the value of the land.  All of this is on a case-by-case basis.”

The cleanup in Calgary and the surrounding communities is underway, and Ottawa is contributing federal assistance to move the process along.  However, Griffiths says the total financial cost of the flooding is yet to be determined.

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