In a news conference Tuesday, Quebec's Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux promised homeowners who have had their homes inspected already in the aftermath of the province's spring floods that they would be receiving their flood inspection reports within the next five weeks.
To accelerate the pace of the report deliveries, the province has hired 90 additional people to jump in and join the current response team. It expects to now be issuing 500 flood inspection reports per week.
"Can it be faster? We are doing our best," said Coiteux. "Citizens are worried about the delay, and I understand."
Coiteux's comments came the morning after a series of public consultations were held across the province at 17 different locations. They provided an opportunity for residents to express their frustrations over how the claims process had been handled thus far, and for government representatives to update them on further developments related to the issue.
Despite being a representative of Montreal's Nelligan electoral district, Coiteux was noticeably absent from his district's meeting place in Pointe-Claire.
"This used to be considered a state of emergency. Since many families here have yet to receive the help that your office promised back in May, can you please explain to us where is the elected minister of public security?" said affected homeowner Itsik Romano.
Thus far, the government has already paid out over $6.2 million to people affected by the floods in the Montreal area, while 921 files for compensation have been opened. That makes up nearly a third of the total compensation files to be submitted around the province (3,232), 2,949 of which have been completed.
In order to mitigate damage from future Quebec floods, the provincial government has already begun developing a new system that will be centred around what it calls "special intervention zones." These zones, which stretch across 211 Quebec municipalities, are areas that are considered vulnerable to flooding every 0 to 20 years and will now have any future construction specially monitored and possibly restricted because of the clear risk their locations pose.