Saturday, July 5, 2014

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall asks PM for $100M flood relief advance

On the ground in the Melville area, Premier Brad Wall gets a close up view of the damage to Saskatchewan's highway infrastructure. (CBC
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says he has no doubt the federal government will approve his request for an advance of $100 million for disaster relief, to deal with damage from the recent intense flooding.

During the province's daily flood update call with media Saturday morning, the premier unexpectedly spoke up on the line. Usually the call includes representatives of government departments involved with emergency management, such as the Ministry of Highways, Government Relations and Social Services.

Wall said he had just gotten off the phone with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The premier explained he asked Harper for an advance of $100 million for disaster assistance in light of the flood damage felt across the province all week.

"We're going to follow that up with a quick note, but I am pretty optimistic we are going to see some support there," said Wall.

It is the same amount the province requested in an advance for flood relief assistance in 2011.

According to the premier, the cost of flood damages in 2011 amounted to $360 million. Wall said he expects the amount needed to deal with the flood aftermath this year will exceed the 2011 total.

"We think the number will be a lot higher than the $360 million of 2011, which was just basically the damage, the repair and not necessarily the economic impact. Because in this case, we have oil leases now inaccessible. We have farmland under water. So in addition to whatever numbers I am talking about right now, there will be an economic impact and is too early to assess that just yet."


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