Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Plus A Note About Our Ongoing Commitment

December 23, 2013 by CRC Action Group in Meetings & Updates, News

It has been 6 long months since the summer solstice brought the flood that wreaked havoc and chaos for so many of you.   It has been a very difficult time and there are a lot of obstacles many still need to overcome.


This is the time of year where we reflect and express gratitude.  The flood left us with massive economic losses and a great degree of uncertainty. It washed away traditions and left many without shelter. We here at CRCAG do not wish to minimize these losses or pretend as though we all aren’t thrilled to see 2013 in the rear view mirror.


But we are very grateful for the strength and support of our incredible communities in this time. We are grateful for all your dedication to this place and the understanding that community is more than your address, it’s the web of connectivity that binds families and friends and creates the framework for lives well lived. We should go into the new year with no doubt that we do community really well.


We look forward to continuing our efforts in the New Year. We will attend the Water Collaborative in January and continue to advocate for commitments and progression reports with regards to upstream mitigation. We will continue to meet with and report back to DRP officials in the hopes of getting more substantive payments to more applicants quickly. We will continue to advocate for better policy outcomes and to minimize the effect of bad policies on our communities. We will continue to pressure for widespread flood insurance and we will provide members with ongoing information as to how they can protect themselves and their property.


We are a solution oriented organization and remain dedicated to the belief that together we can do better.


In closing a brief comment about the word “resilience”….


We have heard a lot of this word lately in Calgary. In fact just the other day our Mayor was quoted in the Metro as saying:


“Of course, if we had another incident like this, it would be psychologically devastating, but I think we’ve built up human resilience in addition to physical resilience…One thing I didn’t talk about much during the flooding – but was always just below the surface of the work that I was doing – was the mental and emotional well being of people,” the mayor added. “One of the reasons I pushed so hard to encourage people to volunteer and to help out neighbours and strangers wasn’t just to get the basements cleaned up more quickly. It was actually so that people who, in the worst period of their lives, when they were feeling so beaten down, would know they live in a community where others care about them.”


We are glad that our Mayor was paying attention to the psychological well being of the citizens of Calgary. The volunteers that came out were amazing. They truly did save homes and psyches.


But we would suggest that there isn’t as much resilience remaining as the Mayor purports.


Those who were most severely impacted by the flood are a long way still from normal.  Many aren’t home over this season. They may have sold their home to the government. Or they may be living in a family members basement. Or maybe they have left town. Or they are still living in a construction site, uncertain as to whether or not they can afford to rebuild their home. Some have lost their condos and apartments and may never return.  People are living in temporary housings camps. We still have businesses without elevators. We have businesses that are gone forever.


We think it needs to be said that this city and its downtown core cannot sustain another flood of this magnitude. Those of us who live it everyday since June understand this. Many of us are very concerned with the amount of snow we have already received and its impact on the snow pack. We clearly need upstream mitigation and physical infrastructure now.


We need our Mayor’s full support and vocal commitment to these plans. While much of what has been suggested is within Provincial jurisdication our City plays an important roll with regards to the proposed bypass, the Glenmore Reservoir and other riverside solutions. Suggestions that everything will just be fine when this happens again are not helpful. People will not be fine. Calgary will not be fine. Our economic outlook will not be fine.


We represent over 900 flood impacted citizens and we have requested meetings with our Mayor so that we can share with him the concerns of our membership. To date we have not been able to secure one, but we are hopeful this will change in the New Year.


CRCAG Steering Group
Emma May
Tony Morris
Brenda Leeds Binder
Daryl Rudichuk
Dr. Mike Bregazzi
Wade Felesky
Rob Nieuwesteeg