Skip to main content

The amount of financial assistance available for people dealing specifically with the aftermath of heavy flooding this year has been topped up, the Quebec government announced Wednesday.

Premier Philippe Couillard told a news conference the province's preliminary estimates suggest damages will cost $350-million.

Thousands of Quebecers will likely be seeking help after record April rainfall caused extensive flooding across the province, ruining homes and businesses.

Story continues below advertisement

Among the new rules, the maximum amount paid out for the replacement of a home destroyed by floods is being increased to $200,000 from $160,000, with the possibility of an extra $50,000 for the land.

That $200,000 cap will also apply to repairs, while the percentage of amounts covered is being increased to 90 per cent from 80 per cent.

The money being doled out for other material losses is being increased and the province says owners of rental properties are also eligible.

The new measures announced Wednesday apply to this spring's flooding, which the premier qualified as exceptional.

While the maximum amounts aren't likely to cover the cost of rebuilding a home, Couillard said there has to be a limit.

"There is no program anywhere without a ceiling, you have to control expenses at some point," he said. "It's not an insignificant amount (as much as $250,000), I realize that in certain very expensive homes, it's not going to cover everything, but if you look at the income of Quebecers ... it will cover a significant share of the population."

Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said the compensation program as a whole is also being revised.

Story continues below advertisement

Meanwhile, Coiteux and other ministers will look at planning for the future – in particular new development projects in areas deemed to be flood risks.

But the premier said forcing people from their homes is out of the question. If homeowners want to move, it will be their choice but they will be allowed to rebuild as long as municipal zoning laws permit, he added.

"I'm respectful of people – I visited Pointe-Gatineau (a district in western Quebec), it's low-to-middle-income people there and some of them have been living there for three generations," Couillard said. "I'm not going to tell them: 'Please pack your things, we're moving you away.' "That's not they way we're going to behave with citizens."

Couillard said the province's improved financial situation will allow the province to shoulder the costs without affecting its balanced budget.

The province said it has paid out $3.6-million so far in financial assistance, with the pace of payouts working out to $450,000 per day.

Civil security officials say just more than 4,000 residences are affected by flooding and about 3,500 people remain evacuated from their homes.

Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter