Fourth Anniversary Message

June 21, 2017 by CRC Action Group in News

A message, on our fourth anniversary…


Anniversaries are meant to be celebrated. Important milestones acknowledged. Memories rekindled.


Anyone feel like doing that?


Us neither. But we do have to remember this one, where on June 21, 2013 most of our lives changed one way or another and in some cases, profoundly so.


At our recent AGM, we were remiss in failing to acknowledge the greatest of these. The loss of life of our fellow Albertans:


  • Jacqui Brocklebank
  • Amber Rancourt
  • Lorraine Gerlitz
  • Dominic Pearce
  • Rob Nelson


As wrapped up as we get in our small concerns, we do remember these tragic losses, and to their families and communities, our ongoing condolences.


After this devastating loss in life and property, we certainly first thought all levels of Government would have completed the work to protect this City by now, to help Calgary mature to address its reality as having grown beside mountain rivers that flood. This has happened in part, but what we didn’t understand back then was the complexity of the problem or the time involved to process the solutions. And we’ve seen without question unnecessary man-made delays that have required our greatest efforts to address.


So everything has taken much longer than hoped and that’s been very frustrating.


But we do think that more has happened to address this City’s built-in existential flood risk in the last 4 years than has been done since the Glenmore and Ghost Reservoirs were completed some 85 years ago. A tremendous amount of work has advanced on numerous fronts. But the actual construction of the local area and upstream mitigation projects that we all know are required has barely begun, with the required significant mitigation projects very much at risk of being completed, more so with each passing month.


You’ve seen several recent posts, and more will soon come, so very briefly, here’s the latest:


Floodway Development Regulation (FDR)


In a recent call with Municipal Affairs Minister Shaye Anderson, we learned that the revised flood area mapping work is continuing throughout the Province and that there has been internal discussion as to the content of the FDR to be developed under the Municipal Government Act. The FDR will provide the overarching development regulations for any building in a flood area (floodway, flood fringe, overland flood area). We were assured that there will be a period of public consultation when the draft FDR is released, and that CRCAG in particular will be consulted. The critical news is that the flood maps are not anticipated to be released in isolation without people understanding their impact to our City, and that they will not simply appear and be in force without public consultation. This is good news. We were also advised that land caveats that were to apply in situations where DRP payments were received by homeowners and other conditions exist are not a priority.


Bow River Mitigation


The next critical event for the Bow River is the release of the final report of the Bow River Working Group, which is overdue. As CRCAG could not get a seat at that table, we don’t know all the details we can anticipate, but we do know that “next step recommendations” to Cabinet will be made. We expect we’ll follow-up to do our best to see those recommendations acted upon.


Elbow River Mitigation


As you know, opponents to the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir were able to have a Court direct Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister McKenna to decide whether the “Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s” review of the Springbank Project should proceed with the planned “desk review” or through a “panel review”. A panel review would likely add at least a year to the construction project. We are doing what we can, through several channels, to prompt the Minister to maintain the status quo. We believe that a desk review is a more than adequate engagement for CEAA given the hearings to be conducted before Alberta’s “Natural Resources Conservation Board” (NRCB). The risk to the environment of another flood cleaning out this City yet again clearly speaks to the Springbank Project being built now.


We intend to have standing at the NRCB hearings and have retained legal counsel for that purpose. We expect the Springbank Project’s opponents to do the same. We are ramping up our fundraising efforts to support this work and we’d certainly appreciate your help with this. Given what’s at stake to you, please don’t wait for us to contact you specifically.


Despite those challenges, the Springbank Project is proceeding with a current completion date of 2021. This Government, like the one before it, strongly supports it, based on all the science and research done to date. It’s the right first choice and we’ve seen no evidence to suggest otherwise. Neither has the City nor the Federal Government, which are also in full support. And as a result, the City has never been closer to getting a meaningful mitigation project completed on the Elbow River since the Glenmore Reservoir (which was actually built for water supply purposes). We cannot allow 4 years of momentum and opportunity to be stalled. And we have no intention to.




We’ve had tremendous feedback following our AGM in late April. It was really the first time we heard all three levels of Government, and their administrations, speak so clearly and loudly for the protection of this City, and the key projects to do so. It will be remembered, and here are the videos to prove it.


AGM videos

After the Flood – Our Journey by David Allen


Here is a link to a summary of the AGM, which links to the presentation materials.


Most importantly, we thank you, our Members. Your ongoing support keeps us moving ahead, despite the setbacks. And we are making progress, even if it doesn’t feel like it at times. And that does give us a reason to feel optimistic, if not celebratory.


Have a great summer and let’s hope to stay dry.


Your CRCAG Team