OTTAWA – Charlie Angus says, “The families of the isolated fly-in community of Kashechewan are living in a level of ‘intolerable risk’ from the deteriorating condition of a dike wall that surrounds their village”. This assessment was contained in a new engineering report that shows that residents face real danger as another season of flooding approaches on the James Bay coast.
Angus, the MP for Timmins-James Bay says “The report by engineering firm Hatch confirms what the federal government has known all along: that Kashechewan could face a catastrophe if the waters rise too fast”.
“The government’s own documents confirm that this dyke wall does not meet Canadian Standards. It’s been 7 years since the Harper government walked away on a plan to move the community to higher ground. Since then there has been one evacuation after another. Millions have been spent repairing damage from the endless cycle of flooding.”
The community suffered serious flooding over the last two springs. Over 100 people are still in a state of evacuation from the devastation of last year’s flood.
Angus has written to Minister Bernard Valcourt warning him that people’s lives are at risk from government inaction.
“If there was a significant flooding event the lives of people in this community would be put at serious risk. A sudden surge of water in the middle of the night could lead to deaths of young people and the elderly. There is no municipality anywhere in the country that would be left in such precarious state of danger because of identified failings of basic infrastructure.”
With the flooding season set to begin within the next month, Angus is asking Valcourt to work with the community on a plan to address the crisis facing the dyke walls.