My office has been receiving questions about a letter regarding flood mitigation that is currently circulating in Calgary. I’ve had a chance to review this letter, signed by Emma May and distributed by the Gordon Dirks campaign in Calgary-Elbow, and must take issue both with its tone and its inaccuracies.
Here are some facts:
- Opposition parties in this election have clearly outlined their flood mitigation plans. Though one may disagree with these plans, it is irresponsible to say that they do not exist.
- Recommendations from both the provincial Task Force and the expert panel on flood mitigation measures in Alberta indicate the potential for three Elbow River mitigation options:
- The Springbank off-stream diversion and storage site
- The Glenmore Reservoir Diversion Tunnel
- The McLean Creek dry dam
- The Government of Alberta has approved only the first of these three mitigation options.
The City of Calgary’s analysts have determined that one option is not sufficient for protecting our city from future flooding. Council has been clear and consistent on the need for two of the three mitigation options to appropriately protect our river communities.
The 2013 flood was traumatic, devastating and forever imprinted on Calgary’s memory. Yet it was also the moment when our city came together. I remember being evacuated from my home, and instead of getting left out in the rain, I experienced the overwhelming support of Calgarians from every corner of the city and every walk of life. A partisan and frankly dishonest letter such as this is a far cry from the common spirit that we found two years ago.
Our neighbourhoods want to know they’ll be safe in the future, myself included. Even in the silliness that comes about in an election, each party has different opinions on what is best, and that’s okay. Letters that whip up fear, however, are inappropriate. The flood is not a bargaining chip.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.