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What Role Should the City of Calgary have in Flood Repairs?

Calgary Municipal Election

Significant damage to Calgary property occurred during the 2013 floods.  This question reviews what the response should be from the City of Calgary.

 

The City of Calgary Should Expand the Budget

Others Should Pay for the Damage

Expanded Budget

Calgary City Council expanded the budget by adding $96 million for flood spending while cutting $42 million from other areas1.  The city has not officially determined how it will spend the additional funds, but this expansion will allow it to

Expanded Budget

There are too many unknowns for the City to really understand their involvement.  To date, it is not clear how much assistance will be provided by the Provincial and Federal governments, and how much of the damage will be covered by insurance.  In the meantime, Calgarians suffering from property damage do not also need to deal with increased taxation.

Flood Repairs

Flood repairs for Roads is estimated at $25 million2, and damage to the city is a whole is estimated at $400 million3.  This damage is extensive and it is reasonable for the City to prepare to contribute to the cost.

Flood Repairs

The City should start by looking to push others to do or pay for repairs.  Individuals and corporations need to look to insurance and other pre-existing avenues for repairs first, and the provincial and federal governments are the organizations who should coordinate disaster relief.  Only after those avenues have failed should the City get involved in funding that will negatively impact tax payers.

Flood Preparations

Additional funds should be spent not only to repair damage, but also to better prepare the city for future floods.  The 2013 floods have a 1 in 100 chance of happening every year, which means it is a question of when it happens again rather than if it will happen again.  The best economic choice is to prepare for them so that they do not cost as much in the future.

Flood Preparations

The first step should be to do minimal repairs.  Flood preparations can be done over time when the City of Calgary has more space in the budget.

Alternatives

Arguments for middle-ground or additional solutions can be inserted here.

Calgary Flood Repairs

What role should the City of Calgary have in flood repairs?

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Votes

The provincial and federal governments should pay for rebuilding
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The City of Calgary should expand the budget
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Votes

Others should pay for the damage
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References

1.     Metro News: Calgary mayor, most aldermen support post-flood adjustment to capital budget

2.     Calgary Sun: Flood Damage to Calgary Roads Pegged at 25 Million

3.     CTV New: Damage estimate from floods grows to over 400 Million

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