(22 June 2011)
Historic Flooding in Southern Saskatchewan
After days of non-stop rain in southeast Saskatchewan, rising water invaded streets, homes and businesses and left entire communities under water. Many of us cannot even imagine the loss, devastation and stress of dealing with a flood, especially on such a large scale. During a recent tour of the affected communities, Premier Brad Wall assured people that our government will do everything we can to support families, businesses and communities throughout this challenging time. Throughout their tour of the hardest hit areas, they visited many homes and businesses and spoke with people and families who shared their stories. They also met with local officials from the City and RM of Estevan, Town of Radville, Town of Yellow Grass and the City of Weyburn to assess their needs and priorities. Our government has been blessed with good fortune and that has enabled us to balance our budgets and keep money in our rainy day fund so that we can support Saskatchewan people in challenging times such as these.
Once Premier Wall saw the extent of the damage first-hand, he decided to not attend this year’s Western Premiers’ Conference in Yellowknife. Saskatchewan families come first and it is important the Premier be able to closely monitor the flood situation, and keep the federal government updated with the latest information. After last year’s historic flooding, our government made improvements to the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP) which will now benefit communities affected by flooding this year. PDAP provides financial assistance for essential, uninsurable property caused by natural disasters like flooding and, under the enhanced plan, principle residence owners can now claim $240,000 instead of $160,000.
Maximum assistance for businesses owners, non-profit organizations, boards, charitable organizations, and owners/operators of primary agricultural operations was increased to $500,000, also up from $160,000. Our government also dropped the deductible on individual assistance claims from 20 per cent to five per cent. Premier Wall also told officials during the tours that our government is very interested in hearing any of their suggestions to make the program even more effective and responsive. For more information on PDAP and how to apply, please call 1-866-632-4033 or check their website.
It is heartbreaking to see and hear about so many homes damaged and memories washed away. However, throughout the tours, the Premier and local MLAs also witnessed the admirable composure, resilience and kindness of Saskatchewan people. Spirits have been lifted by the hard work, dedication and support from community members, volunteers and organizations, who have rushed to the aid of flooded communities, eager to help in any way possible. Our government cannot thank you enough for your commitment – your dedication is just another example of the Saskatchewan Advantage.
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