Special intervention zone
A flood map that spreads discord across the Outaouais
Provincial government officials were greeted by many frustrated citizens during public consultations on the new Special Intervention Zone (ZIS) map on July 4.
In Gatineau, more than a hundred residents expressed their concerns about the map described as “a draft” by the Liberal MP for Pontiac, André Fortin.
“It doesn’t make sense.” “It’s not serious about your business.” and “How did you draw that map?” These are comments that many citizens have made.
The most popular response from government officials was “We became aware of your situation and we are going to communicate it to the authorities.” This lack of communication irritated some citizens who expressed that the consultation was “a waste of time”.
Almost half of the residents who asked questions were not people who were flooded, but who were still in the heart of the ZIS.
Charles Masse, Vice-President of Development and Operations at Heafy Group, has proclaimed himself on the card that jeopardizes the company’s $60 million project at 199 Laurier Street.
“If you think our land is lucky enough to be flooded, that means the whole island of Hull would be flooded. According to your map, here at the Palais des Congrès, we are apparently at risk of being flooded. It doesn’t make any sense. We have a $60 million residential project that is in danger because of your map, while the region has a serious housing shortage problem.”
The project at 199 Laurier Street and the Zibi project also included in the ZIS is located 23 feet above the highest level of the last floods.
Currently, 80% of the Jubilee project and several other neighbourhoods and residences in Aylmer are also included in the map without ever having been flooded.
Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pednaud-Jobin wanted to be reassuring by expressing some optimism about the situation, arguing that the city would do everything in its power to help the CAQ government rectify their map.
“We sent them our cards and we are working with them to resolve the situation. They were told to give us advance notice next time because we could have done all this earlier. Gatineau has very precise data and some expertise given the last few years and the government should have the reflex to call us. Because this makes no sense, we are worrying people and endangering important projects. ”
“There are aberrations in the current map; the government recognizes it; the officials who are here tonight are saying that there will be changes. We will look at this very closely and make sure that the corrections are made. ”
“I have assurances from Minister Lacombe, MP Lévesque and Ms Laforest’s office that there will be significant corrections and that they recognize that there are problems. ”