Devastating floods in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick

Affirmation of social solidarity and need for measures to protect shoreline municipalities

Devastating floods are currently affecting many regions of Quebec, as well as parts of Ontario and New Brunswick. According to the provisional report published by Urgences Québec on April 28, there are 6,424 flooded homes, 3,508 dwellings isolated by water and 9,522 evacuees in Quebec. The most affected regions are the Laurentians and the Outaouais, and the other affected regions are National Capital Region, Centre-du-Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches, Estrie, Lanaudière, Laval, Mauricie, the Montérégie and Montreal. In the Laurentians, the number of people affected has jumped due to the rupture of a dike in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, which has flooded of one-third of the municipality. Many emergency measures have been taken by various public services to alleviate the situation and assist the victims.

Chantier politique salutes the social solidarity expressed by Quebeckers and people from elsewhere in Canada to help the affected populations and to limit the scope of the floods as much as possible. This inestimable solidarity in this urgent situation shows the character and sentiment of Quebeckers to unite and take care of the well-being of all. The same gestures of social solidarity are taking place in Ontario and New Brunswick, demonstrating how the people unite to face adversity.

Conversely, Chantier politique finds unacceptable the words of Quebec Premier François Legault, who said that what is at stake here is the so-called social acceptability of asking taxpayers to foot the bill for disaster relief, and that once a certain threshold of financial assistance is exceeded, the victims should move. On the contrary, everyone must receive the necessary help and measures must be put in place to protect the shoreline municipalities as much as possible so that they can maintain themselves. It is totally unacceptable to impose these neo-liberal thresholds of financial assistance to determine whether or not we can live in our municipalities.

The social solidarity, measures to protect the shoreline municipalities from the effects of climate change, disaster relief, and the fight against climate change together make up an integral part of a modern Quebec that defends the well-being and rights of all.

How to Assist

Quebeckers wishing to help the victims of the floods in Quebec can do so in many ways. Here are a few.

– Those interested in offering help can contact the flooded municipalities directly, to fill sandbags or to participate in clean-up work. For Montreal, call 311.

– To give donations of clothes, furniture, toys, etc., contact the authorities of the flooded city closest to you, to find out where to bring them.

– You can donate to one of Quebec’s food banks by visiting this website: www.banquesalimentaires.org/en/make-a-donation/

– To host an animal affected by the disaster, check with local shelters. On Facebook, several SPCAs and shelters have issued specific requests.

To find other ways to assist, contact the Red Cross call centres:

– Montreal, Outaouais, Lanaudiere, Laurentians, Laval, Montérégie, Estrie, Center-du-Québec: 
1-800-363-7305

– Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie/Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches, Mauricie (418) 648-9066

– Côte-Nord, Nord-du-Québec, Saguenay/Lac-Saint-Jean, Abitibi-Témiscamingue (418) 690-3909

Chantier politique

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