By: Luke Jones, Published on August 7, 2018 09:01 AM, Last Update on August 7, 2018 06:02 AM
The federal government has confirmed it is providing New Brunswick with a fund of $39 million to help recover from record-breaking floods that occurred in the spring.
Ottawa’s money will help the province cover response and recovery costs. Deputy Premier Stephen Horsman says people in New Brunswick are still recovering from the flood and the money will help them pay claims from both private and public insurance providers.
The late-April flood left 12,000 properties damaged by floods. Lisa Munn, recovery service manager with the New Brunswick Emergency Measures group says between 50 and 60 homes will have to be demolished.
Debates in the province have centred on property development on flood risk lands. In May, Craig Stewart, vice president of federal affairs for the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) argues the debate is arriving too late. He says authorities must act quickly to introduce new building regulations.
“This should have been done yesterday,” he said.
“Given lessons learned from flood events over the past few years, absolute priority should be given to changing zoning laws so that we stop putting people in harm’s way.”
In July, it emerged hundreds of residents remained out of their homes nearly two months after the storms. Bill Lawlor, director of the Canadian Red Cross in the province said 120 residents are in emergency accommodations, but many others are in their own living arrangements that are not their homes.
“We had well over 300 people at the height of the evacuation and it’s gone down to as low as 70,” he said. “The number has gone up and down, but it’s stabilizing now and we’ll continue to see it decrease.”