Calgary

Wildrose Party calls for flood compensation cap

Alberta's opposition Wildrose Party is proposing a series of recommendations for the Redford government to follow as the province rebuilds after last month's flooding.

Alberta opposition wants government to limit payouts to owners of multimillion-dollar homes

Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith and MLA Rob Anderson announce proposals for Alberta's flood recovery efforts in Calgary on Thursday. (CBC)

Alberta’s opposition Wildrose Party is proposing a series of recommendations for the Redford government as the province rebuilds after last month’s flooding.

Making the announcement in Calgary on Thursday, MLA Rob Anderson said his party believes homeowners in the floodway should only get government compensation if they agree to move elsewhere.

"Just to be clear, if they are in dangerous areas that cannot be properly mitigated, in order to get money for rebuilding, they are going to have to move," he said.

"How many homes? There won't be that many, it will be dozens for sure, but we're not talking hundreds or thousands here."  

The Wildrose is also proposing a cap be put on compensation, so owners of multimillion-dollar homes only receive assistance for the cost of a normal home.

No costing figures were provided for any of the proposals.

Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith was critical of the Redford government’s handling of the flood zone maps

"It’s not good enough to use outdated floodplain maps to determine compensation as homeowners are still recovering and to cause tremendous confusion as to whether they will be compensated," she said.

The government also missed opportunities to take steps after the 2005 floods to lessen the impact of the next flooding event, Anderson said.

"They knew that these flood dangers existed, from various reports … they hid the 2006 report from the public for eight years before releasing it just a few months prior to the actual flood," he said.

Smith said major mitigation efforts — such as a massive spillway in southern Alberta — should be undertaken.  

"You're better off creating a channeling system and a spillway system and a reservoir system that puts the water in places that will cause the least harm," she said.