City’s flood letters to PM, Premier in the mail

WEST CARLETON – The city’s official letters requesting a formal investigation in to recent spring foolding are in the mail.

One of the two nearly identical letters requesting an investigation in to spring flooding.
One of the two nearly identical letters requesting an investigation in to spring flooding.

City staff mailed the two separate letters yesterday (May 29), asking the federal and provincial governments to “conduct a formal investigation into the flooding events of 2017 and 2019,” the letter read.

The motion to send the letter was approved at the May 22 council meeting.

“I would encourage your government to undertake a timely investigation into this matter,” Mayor Jim Wilson wrote. “As I am 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.”

Today, (May 30) Coun. El-Chantiry wanted to clarify some of intentions behind his original motion.

“I am not suggesting there is a conspiracy of any sort nor is my inquiry some sort of a witch hunt where we point fingers and lay blame,” he released in a statement today. “The request is simply to get answers for affected residents so they can move forward (or not) with their plans to renovate and rebuild. From there, decisions can be made on whether we need to consider implementing new rules and regulations for property owners wanting to build and/or rebuild within the watershed and where future risk of flooding is very high.”

El-Chantiry went on to say his residents want to know what to do now.

“And I don’t have answers for them,” he said. “They want to know why this has happened twice, what is the root cause, will this likely happen again, and should they even try to rebuild?”

El-Chantiry says that’s why the city is asking for an investigation.

“We want to work together with our federal and provincial counterparts to give our residents some answers,” he said. “I am hopeful these investigations will happen very quickly – residents are in a holding pattern right now needing to know how to move forward. If this is going to be our new normal, then we need to know so we can plan accordingly.”