Ottawa

Watson asks Trudeau, Ford to investigate floods

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has asked the federal and provincial governments to carry out a "timely investigation" into the causes of both the 2017 and 2019 floods.

Letter from Ottawa mayor to PM, Ontario premier sent Thursday

A couple surveys floodwaters in east Ottawa earlier this spring. Mayor Jim Watson has formally asked the province of Ontario and the federal government to investigate the cause of both the 2017 and 2019 floods. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has asked the federal and provincial governments to carry out a "timely investigation" into the causes of both the 2017 and 2019 floods.

Watson formally made the request in letters sent Wednesday to both Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

It comes after Ottawa city council resolved to approach both Ford and Trudeau last week.

"I would encourage your government to undertake a timely investigation into this matter," wrote Watson in the letters.

"As I'm sure you can appreciate, many residents in the affected areas of Ottawa will be waiting for reliable information on the factors contributing to these flooding events, and the likelihood of reoccurrence, before making a decision on rebuilding their homes."

Still under state of emergency

The city of Ottawa remains under a state of emergency from the 2019 floods, which hit certain neighbourhoods along the Ottawa River — namely Cumberland, Constance Bay, Fitzroy Harbour and Britannia — especially hard.

The Ontario government has launched a task force on planning and reducing the impact of flooding, with consultations held earlier this month in Ottawa and Pembroke, Ont.

Watson has previously said he wants the Ontario government to consider buyouts for residents living in flood-prone areas of the city.

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