Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski met with community leaders today to find better ways of addressing flood management.

The closed-door meeting at the Pembroke Fire Hall included the Minister of Natural Resources, Ottawa River Management, Ontario Power Generation and many municipalities affected by the 2019 Ottawa River Flood. Yakabuski said any group that was involved in combating the flood had been invited. He says the committee will look into what was done, the history of management leading up to the floods, if the management plans were adhered to and if there’s anything more that can be done.

Yakabuski said his heart goes out to everyone affected and the provincial government recognizes the damage caused.

The MPP also addressed concerns about how the dams along the Ottawa River were managed. Reports had emerged that water levels may have been lower upstream while downstream communities flooded. Yakabuski said it was important to have those responsible for the dams at the meetings with the municipalities.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has said he is going to be writing a formal letter to the provincial government requesting an inquiry. Yakabuski said an inquiry was a complicated matter because so many institutions manage the Ottawa River. He said there is an engagement session in Ottawa on the 24th. The Minister also said that when disaster strikes, all levels of government have a responsibility to their citizens. He hopes that the meeting will lay out a road map to improve the province’s resilience to flooding.

The public is being asked for its input for better flood management. The online survey and other information can be found here.