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  • Kyle Bolt

Statement on Sussex & Area February 29th Flood Event

For people who have never had their home flood and their property destroyed, it is hard to understand the devastation Thursday brought to so many homes throughout the riding, especially in Sussex.

It’s exhausting, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s expensive. And it takes a very long time to get things back to rights. Some things can be replaced, and many others cannot be.

This community and its people mean the world to me. It is my home and it’s where I choose to raise my family, and the grit of the people here is incredible given their repeated, tragic experiences with the power of water.

There’s a flood mitigation plan the town has been fiercely committed to for a couple years now. It’s in the federal government’s hands.

While there is a lot of frustration over repeated disasters, the town’s leadership is second-to-none when it comes to these situations. The province’s Public Safety department that’s involved in every community’s emergency response says this community is exceptional in its focus and response during these disasters, so I want to give praise where it is deserved.

In 2014 and again now in 2024, it was the perfect storm of many factors that caused the devastation it did, including climate change. That’s just the reality. That doesn’t mean we can’t do our very best collectively as three levels of government to mitigate this risk. But it does take all three because of the cost and extent of the plan, and it does start with Ottawa as the senior level of government and funding partner.

My cabinet colleagues Public Safety Minister Kris Austin and Transportation Minister Richard Ames were here on Thursday within a couple hours of me asking because I needed them to understand what people are facing and I wanted them to talk directly with the mayor in the throes of all this. And their support at the table is important to me as these conversations unfold around this funding piece.

MP Rob Moore was in Ottawa on Thursday when the flood struck but he reached out to me and will be pushing his federal counterparts to take the necessary first step for this project to be supported federally.

And again this evening Premier Blaine Higgs contacted me to check in on the community and to commit to looking at the ways we can do our part provincially to help fix the problem.

I will do everything I can to work as part of the three levels of government to get this mitigation plan funded.

For anyone who needs help reporting your damage for Disaster Financial Assistance, we are happy to help at my constituency office at 77 Wheeler Road in Four Corners.

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