CRC meeting with Minister Griffiths and Andre Corbould

August 9, 2013 by CRC Action Group in Calgary River Communities, News
We are pleased to report that yesterday we had a meeting with Minister Doug Griffiths and Mr. Andre Corbould who is in charge of the Southern Alberta Flood Recovery Task Force.
This was a two hour meeting and we had the opportunity to discuss a number of our concerns and ask some of the specific questions that you have been asking us.
This is our summary of what we were able to learn and discuss.
We began the meeting by talking about how CRCAG came about, the overflowing meeting at the Glencoe and how we have over 500 households engaged in our process.
We reviewed our mandate as focused on keeping up the push for upstream prevention, keeping the integrity of our communities intact and the restoration of property losses and value.
With regards to what the Province refers to as “community mitigation”, the Minister was very clear that both provincial officials as well as the Markin group are working hard to come up with infrastructure solutions that will prevent the flow of floodwaters in the City of Calgary. We were given assurances that they understood that the fundamental economics of a flood of this nature or worse are devastating to the City and Province. No specifics were provided and no promises were made but we were told this was a large effort on their behalf and that it has been since the flood.
We moved on to discuss some of the intricacies of the DRP funding policies and those that give us concern.
Tony Morris very clearly enunciated the position that the proposals regarding notifications on land titles were a fundamentally wrong direction and interfered with property rights and values. He also argued that any policy that entrenches disentitlement to future access to DRP funding is flawed and unfair.
From this discussion we learned the following:
There are TWO separate title notifications.
  1. There will be a mandatory notice placed on your title indicating that you are in either the Floodfringe or the Floodway, to warn any future purchaser. This is automatic and based on existing mapping which may or may not change overtime.
  2. There will be an indicator placed on your title relating to DRP funding to repair your home. While this mark is on your title, your property would no longer be eligible for further DRP funding. This disentitlement runs with the land and would apply to any future purchaser. Since the meeting we have seen language which indicates that this mark may apply simply by you being entitled to DRP funding but we have no clarity on this as it stands.  In order to alter this mark, you will need to demonstrate that you took the measures the Province has outlined in order to mitigate your property against future damage. We understand that the notification would be altered if the standard was met.
In this regard we said that we think the measures that the Provincial  Government wants homeowners to take are onerous, expensive and ultimately and ineffective for a basement. (Cement board, metal studs etc.)
Mr. Corbould and the Minister both agreed to review those mitigation measures based on specific concerns we will provide to them. We have heard from many of you and your contractors and are preparing our list of offending requirements today.
We also reviewed some very specific concerns of those who are in the floodway. Minister Griffiths and Mr. Corbould said that they are aware that the broad strokes of the policy may be unduly punative to some and are continuously refining these policies. While no specific assurances were offered we have been told to continue to give feedback and consultation so as to have a role in the refinement.
We touched on matters of flood insurance and the idea of a potential tax credit. While it was clear that the Provincial Government has not been pursuing either of these options they indicated a willingness to review our ideas. We are committed to continuing to offer solutions that can effect policy change.
Mr. Corbould has offered to meet again in a few weeks and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue to engage with Government and advocate for policies that work for our communities.