Fort McMurray rebuilders are not focused on fire-safe materials says IBC

Published: April 26, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Rebuilding efforts in Fort McMurray are not meeting the standards of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. A representative of the IBC says that the reconstruction in the Alberta town misses the point of rebuilding properties that were damaged by wildfire last May.

IBC vice-president Bill Adams said “As they rebuild those homes, they’re rebuilding them largely the same way they were, with the same materials that burned,” said IBC vice-president Bill Adams.

Fort McMurray was directly in the path of a massive wildfire last year. The blaze claimed 2,400 properties, hundreds of vehicles, and displaced nearly 90,000 residents for more than a month. No one was killed by the fire, but it had a profound impact and became the largest insurance loss in Canadian history.

Speaking at the Conference Board of Canada on Tuesday, Adams said that the economic downturn that followed the wildfire means homeowners are not financially equipped to upgrade their houses with improved fire-safe materials.

“There’s not a lot of people who have a lot of extra money that they can invest now while they’re rebuilding to make those improvements,” he stated. “Insurance, which is paying the bulk of the costs for rebuilding the community, only provides enough money to put you back in your pre-existing condition.”