Is Alberta ready for the next disaster?

HIGH RIVER, AB, June 20, 2016 /CNW/ - At the third anniversary of the 2013 flooding in southern Alberta, most Disaster Recovery Program files have been settled but significant problems with the system remain.

In January 2016, the High River Disaster Recovery Program Advocacy Committee (DRPAC) asked the Province to Finish the Job and Fix the System in response to hundreds of lingering assistance files and a system that victimized residents devastated by the flood.

Although the DRPAC congratulates Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee on her department's efforts to complete nearly all the files, it has renewed its call for the systemic problems to be addressed.

"We remain concerned with the slow pace and lack of clarity around the Province's approach to fixing the serious problems with the DRP," says Jim Ross, committee chairman.

The DRPAC report detailed 59 significant problems with specific recommendations to Fix the System. Although some changes have been implemented and a consultant has been hired to develop a manual, no comprehensive response to the recommendations or plan to address the concerns has been released.

"We are pleased the Minister has taken a number of steps to address the serious problems with DRP," says Ross. "But the system is seriously broken and more people will be hurt in the next disaster if it's not fixed."

Many municipal, provincial and federal leaders have endorsed the committee's call for action, including Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, leaders of the provincial Liberal and Alberta parties, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC).

"Nearly three years have passed since flood waters devastated parts of Calgary, High River, and our surrounding region. No one wants to see that happen again, but if or when it does, we need to ensure that the government is helping the recovery process. Let's take the lessons learned from that disaster and put them to good use."

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi in his statement of support to DRPAC

To view and download the DRPAC Report: Finish the Job, Fix the System
and to view all statements of support, please visit:

SOURCE High River Town Council

For further information: Jim Ross, Chairman, DRPAC (403) 540-6873; Bruce Masterman, High River Council (403) 601-5795

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High River Town Council

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