Letter to the editor 1, August 17, 2017
Flood Victims in Quebec suffering and left abandoned - Especially the few English only!
2017 will be a year remembered with sadness and desolation for all flood victims.
Despite media attention to the contrary, many families are still living day to day unaware of their future. Having literally lost their homes and much of their personal effects, having years of hard work physically swept away by ‘Mother Nature’ and seeing their finances dwindle practically overnight, many are physically and emotionally exhausted.
Some are unable to work, without income, but still have to pay municipal and school taxes, mortgages, house insurance (which covered nothing), Hydro and many other bills for a property uninhabited for almost four months and counting.
Being citizens of this beautiful province and great country, one is surrounded by a false belief that our elected officials are dependable, forthcoming, and responsible for the wellbeing of their citizens. Whether on the municipal front or provincial, it is the proverbial, "tossing of the ball," the unbelievable mantra of "we are waiting for an inspector's report," or, "waiting for a settlement agreement offer from either municipal or provincial authorities,” more documentation is required on your part (citizen)." Endless, ongoing fruitless "citizens' meetings,” etc. etc.
Added to this is the daily reality of coping with ongoing expenses, health issues that are increasingly attaining dangerous levels, insecurity, stress, depression and the inability to work.
False information, unfulfilled, uninformed promises on the municipal and provincial levels are rampant. Municipal representatives being the first-line defenders of their citizens have proved their total lack of commitment, incompetence, and indifference.
The magnitude and complexity of documentation required to be submitted by flood victims and its subsequent follow-up is abhorrent. For the few English-only property owners this has been a nightmare (every document is in French only and no agents who speak English in Quebec) so this further complicates everything.
We have been saturated by media coverage of "all the government authorities have formulated to help all flood victims." Ironically, this same media has not deemed it newsworthy to examine closely the daily struggles of these flood victims.
These same "flood victims" have been forgotten, ignored or who have conveniently fallen between the cracks.
It would have been quite appropriate and just for them to have unveiled the "whole" story.
Our stories must be told!!
Signed an English flood victim who was treated deplorably!
Name withheld at writer’s request