Canada Tries a Forceful Message for Flood Victims: Live Someplace Else

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

GATINEAU, Quebec — Along the coast of the United States, people who lost homes to Hurricane Dorian are preparing to rebuild. But Canada — which has faced devastating flooding of its own — is testing a very different idea of disaster recovery: Forcing people to move.

Unlike the United States, which will repeatedly help pay for people to rebuild in place, Canada has responded to the escalating costs of climate change by limiting aid after disasters, and even telling people to leave their homes. It is an experiment that has exposed a complex mix of relief, anger and loss as entire neighborhoods are removed, house by house.

“Canadians are stubbornly beginning to reconsider the wisdom of building near flood-prone areas,” said Jason Thistlethwaite, Water Institute member and professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. “It’s taking government action to obligate people to make better decisions.”

Read the full article in The New York Times.

 

Flood
Canmore, Alberta, in 2013. Flooding there was the most expensive disaster in Canada’s history at the time.

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