Perth-Andover mayor considers resignation
The mayor of Perth-Andover said he’s reflecting on whether to resign in protest because he feels the provincial government hasn’t done enough after a flood devastated his village last spring.
"There was a betrayal of trust from the people," said Mayor Terry Ritchie.
The government unveiled $2.8 million in flood mitigation in Perth-Andover Thursday.
About $1 million is going to go toward mitigating the flooding caused by two brooks, the Tibbitts and McLaughlin brooks, that flow into the main river.
It will also be used to stabilize the north bank of the Tobique River and the east bank of the St. John River to reduce erosion and increase the stability.
A flood in March forced 500 of the village's 1,780 residents out of their homes and resulted in about $25 million in damage.
Ritchie is upset that there is no decision on relocating the 72 homes damaged by water.
"I failed to reach the government, I failed to reach my own people. I feel I let them down too because they bring their own individual courage and skills of businessmen to the table and I’m supposed to bring the skill of communication being able to read the political environment. To me I failed on that," Ritchie said.
Al McPhail, spokesman for a flood victims committee, said the government's priorities are wrong.
"With $2.8 million, according to the flood mitigation study with their estimate of $100,000 to move a home, we could move 28 homes to safety. That’s 40 per cent of the 72 identified homes in the flood zone,’ McPhail said.
"Man, 40 per cent of our citizens would be sitting high and dry for the same expenditure."
The mayor plans to hold a public meeting on Sunday to gauge support for a protest against the government’s mitigation plan.
Ritchie said that form could be a blockade on the Trans-Canada Highway.
A team of community, provincial and federal representatives released a study earlier this month on how to prevent a repeat of the devastating flooding last March.
Moving or flood-proofing the north-western village would cost the provincial government about $7.5 million, according to the report.
With files from The Canadian Press