West Island officials are asking Quebec to be more responsive in finding solutions to flooding in the area after the latest draft of the food zone map was released last Monday.
“The City of Montreal played a very minimal role in terms of how we intervene locally,” Jim Beis, the mayor of Pierrefonds-Roxboro, told The Suburban. “The support that we needed since the floods, hasn’t been there. We were told we would be invited to sit with them and discuss openly some of the issues we dealt with in our borough, but also finding a solution.” Beis added that the borough is still waiting for a response from the City of Montreal, as of mid-August.
Pierrefonds-Roxboro was one of the boroughs that were hardest hit by the floods back in 2017 and 2019. Beis told the media that he wants to see more infrastructure sewer changes and more open communication between West Island boroughs and the city.
The flood zone map was initially released in June of this year on behalf of Quebec’s response to spring floods that occurred over the past years. Unfortunately, previous versions of the map reflected inaccurate zones that were never flooded. After multiple complaints from residents, the city was forced to revise the map to exclude those areas.
According to Beis, these zones were Pointe-Claire, Beaconsfield, Baie-D’Urfé, and Dorval along with small areas of Senneville, Beauharnois, Léry, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Vaudreuil-Dorion, Saint-Étienne-de-Beauharnois and Saint-Louis-de Gonzague. “The government made the righl decision to remove them in the latest version which makes sense because they were never flooded,” he said.
Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle told the media that he was happy to see that the latest version did not include his borough. “We were very surprised to suddenly find ourselves on the map,” he said. “At the end of 2017 and 2019, we were rather pleased to find in Beaconsfield everything had been fine without any flooding.”
Beis spoke to Andrée Laforest, Quebec’s Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing, about his concerns with the lack of communication and he said that Laforest will soon be scheduling another meeting with Beis’ team to better address the concerns and find proactive solutions. “She promised that she would sit with our community,” he said. “We need to go further here and find some permanent solutions throughout the territory and reinforce some of the infrastructure that we have in place to help us with our waterwork networks.”
Beis and his team are presently working to refine their plan and adjust to the measures from the borough’s previous flood so that they are better prepared the next time the water hits the populations.
A spokesperson for the Quebec Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing told the media that a fourth map is in the works. Moreover, Beis told The Suburban that residents have until August 19 to submit their information to the government with potential objections to the latest map.