“Once again, the government is sending the ball back to the municipalities without equipping us with the necessary means to respond to the demands and concerns of citizens,” said Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Jim Beis.
He was referring to the government’s SPZ (Special Planning Zone) flood map and following the map’s latest amendment on July 15th, the borough denounces the fact that “the government took the opportunity to divest itself of its responsibilities. By doing so, without even having been notified, municipalities are now mandated, without their consent, to collect and process citizens’ requests.We learn the information at the same time as the public,” explained Beis.
“Moreover, at no time was the Borough informed of its new role. The Government of Québec is once again demonstrating that it is working backwards, without consulting the municipalities that are the first to be affected,” said the mayor.
Home and property owners who found themselves within the new territory of the flood map were requested to send an email response to the government at firstname.lastname@example.org and residents are encouraged to continue to so so until August 19th.
But since the revision date of mid-July, “the government has chosen to modify its procedures and direct citizens with requests directly to their municipality” noted the borough via press release and has been dealing with a high volume of calls and emails from concerned property owners.
The borough’s concern is that “they do not have the data and human resources to carry out the necessary research to verify the accuracy of the information provided. It should be noted that the government gives full responsibility to municipalities’ Administration to certify whether or not an address has actually been flooded, which goes beyond the expertise and mandate of the Borough.”
The borough will continue to process the information as efficiently and quickly as possible but is counting on the government to provide the “ necessary resources on site in the Borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro, in order to respond adequately and promptly to requests to process citizens’ files.”