• James Armstrong

Flood disaster recovery group plans public protest


Though difficult to see, Sandra Piening’s Rigaud home, like many others hit by the spring flood, sustained serious damage and awaits badly needed provincial aid for repairs before winter arrives.

A public demonstration is being planned by a local volunteer citizens’ group organized to assist victims of the 2017 spring flooding with the objective of pressuring Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux to speed up the process of getting the promised financial aid to those who need it.

The group, calling themselves Inondation 2017-regroupement des sinistrés, has recently joined forces with the Comité des citoyens de Rigaud (CCR). They have been actively involved in promoting their cause at local town council meetings and flood related information sessions.

According to the group’s Facebook page, the first meeting is slated for Sunday, September 10 with time and place to be decided.

Demonstration pros and cons

Members of the group discussed the possibility of organizing a demonstration during a meeting on Thursday, August 17 at the Rigaud Public Library. While not all were in agreement, the majority of those in attendance, decided to move forward with the idea.

“This is the first step,” said Chairperson Jeannine Landry.

Tips and support

People shared information on the progress of their financial assistance applications and advised what to watch for once an application was filed.

“You have to check every item,” said Sandra Piening, describing how a lawnmower she hadn’t claimed had inexplicably appeared in her file and other information she had filed was missing.

Missing information

According to Piening, the missing information pertained to the damage done to the foundation of her house. “There were submissions from contractors for lifting the house and repairing the damage with the inspection report,” she told Your Local Journal. She said the government agent handling her file found the missing documentation in the physical file but it had not been entered into the computer file. As of Tuesday, August 29, Piening had yet to receive a response from the provincial government concerning the foundation repairs.

“I have permission to go ahead with replacing the hardwood floors but was told not to do that by the contractor until the foundation is repaired,” she said. So, she waits, as do many others for their financial aid requests to move forward.

The universal complaint by flood victims concerned the length of time taken for permits to be issued allowing homeowners to begin rebuilding or demolishing.

The group can be reached through their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/INONDATION2017/

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