Dear Minister Weadick, Minister Fawcett, Minister Campbell, Minister Fraser, Deputy Minister Andre Corbould, Scott Edelman, Dave Ardell, Richard Lindseth, Kim Sturgess, Mayor Nenshi and Calgary Councillors
In June 2013, catastrophic flooding devastated communities along the Bow, Elbow, Sheep, Little Bow and Highwood Rivers. The Alberta Government described the 2013 Alberta floods as one of the worse in Alberta’s history. With total damages estimated to exceed $6 Billion and insurable damaged projected to reach $3 Billion, the 2013 Alberta floods is one of the costliest disasters in Canadian history.
The impact of the devastating disaster of June 2013 is still on the minds of many Calgarians. As the economic engine of Alberta, Calgary must be protected from another disaster. Communities along Bow and Elbow Rivers are coming together to advocate for immediate and long-term disaster preparedness strategies.
The time to address immediate community disaster preparedness strategies that will mitigate the impact of floods on public safety is NOW. Although upstream infrastructure projects will have the greatest overall impact in mitigating for costly damages to all flooded communities, such projects will take a number of years to complete.
On Tuesday April 29, 2014 the Alberta Government is hosting “ALBERTA’S WATERSHED MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIUM: FLOOD AND DROUGHT MITIGATION” at the BMO Centre in Calgary where elected officials, civic servants, scientists, disaster relief workers, first responders, emergency managers and Albertans will gather.
Given the impact the June 2013 flood had on all Albertans, we expect the Government of Alberta to address the following points on April 29, 2014:
1. How the Government of Alberta intends to accurately monitor and predict weather and to work with municipal governments to implement an early warning system to alert ALL Albertans of possible flooding.
2. How the Government of Alberta intends to manage the Bow and Elbow River systems this upcoming flood season.
3. An announcement from the Government of Alberta on approved upstream mitigation projects for the Bow and Elbow Rivers with adequate funding and timeline for completion.
4. How the Government of Alberta intends to work with the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, to make publicly available, a community-oriented flood preparedness plan for Bow and Elbow river communities to protect the people and property who reside in the economic engine of Alberta.
5. How the Government of Alberta intends to create an infrastructure partnership with The City of Calgary to implement the construction of the Glenmore Diversion Tunnel in a timely manner.
6. How the Government of Alberta intends to demonstrate nationally and internationally that all municipalities that were affected by the June 2013 flood are taking appropriate measures to build infrastructure and develop emergency management and community resiliency strategies in preparation for future disasters.
7. An announcement from the Government of Alberta to provide funding for community-oriented emergency preparedness strategies and equipment for flood effected municipalities, and the expectation for municipalities to demonstrate they have adequate emergency preparedness, response and recovery strategies in place to protect people and properties .
8. The Government of Alberta will establish a comprehensive independent third-party audit committee to conduct a thorough review of projects, policies, decisions and finances, to ensure accountability, efficacy, and transparency to all taxpayers.
Accountability, transparency and leadership are critical components needed from the Provincial and Municipal Governments. We have seen excellent leadership from the Government of Alberta in supporting flood recovery and mitigation initiatives and expect such leadership to continue. We would like to see a larger leadership role emerge from The City of Calgary Mayor and Councillors to protect Calgarians and property in the Downtown Core and Bow and Elbow River communities.
We look forward to the April 29, 2014 Government of Alberta Flood Mitigation Symposium and the partnerships we can develop with the Alberta Government and The City of Calgary for a better Calgary.
FOR A BETTER CALGARY
James Maxim, President (firstname.lastname@example.org, 403-973-8900)
For a Better Calgary Steering Committee
Brian Bass (email@example.com)
Michael Bradfield (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Deborah Murray (email@example.com)
John Doherty (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Gloria Mak (email@example.com)