(Baie-Saint-Paul) Looking serious, the Prime Minister went to meet many victims of Baie-Saint-Paul and to see the damage from the major floods that occurred at the beginning of the week.
“What is the hardest are the two firefighters, recognized François Legault in a brief scrum with the press. We are talking about a man in his fifties, full of good faith, who left with [his own boat] to help a couple who saw their house being surrounded by water, then a 23-year-old boy . »
“23 years old, repeated the Prime Minister after a short break. A little guy that the mayor knew well helped a lot. It is infinitely sad. »
On Tuesday, a helicopter, drones, the Canadian Coast Guard and dozens of patrollers from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) were used to continue the search for firefighters.
Mr. Legault invited Quebecers to avoid passing judgment on what could have happened on Monday and which led to the disappearance of the two volunteer firefighters. “It must have happened quickly,” he said. This is a situation that has evolved very quickly, so yes, we have to ask ourselves questions and we will do the necessary analyses. »
The elected official also praised the work of all the firefighters and first responders “who did not hesitate” to come to the aid of their fellow citizens since the heavy rains and during the worst of the floods and floods.
“They do essential but risky work. Obviously, we try to minimize these risks, but we can just say thank you to them for their courage,” said. Mr. Legault.
The Prime Minister announced that help would be quickly offered to the victims, in particular to relocate or to rebuild.
Citizens are invited to attend an information session to be held Thursday evening, at 7 p.m., at the Baie-Saint-Paul arena. An hour later, another session, this time for local traders, will take place at the same location.
Psychological support will also be provided to those who need it.
“Because yes, there are two firefighters, but there are also people who have lost what they have built all their lives. They renovated it with strength, through many years, recalled Mr. Legault. There are some for whom it was a house that dated back several generations. We will be there to help them. »
The Prime Minister also recognized the need to support municipalities and their residents in order to better deal with climate change.
Already, he recalled, his government has invested $1.2 billion in this direction and that the Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Benoit Charette, was going to announce other sums, ” hundreds of millions,” in the coming weeks.
“We said it, the risk here [of flooding in the sector] was one year in 100. There, it will be more than that,” said Mr. Legault.
He referred to the Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac dike, which was rebuilt higher after the previous one gave way a few years ago.
“What we’re going to be able to do in terms of adaptation, we’re going to do. But there are places where it will be possible and others it will not be possible, it will have to be looked at on a case-by-case basis,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Minister of Public Security, François Bonnardel, and the Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale, Jonatan Julien, held meetings in Baie-Saint-Paul. Minister Bonnardel said he believed that the worst was over after the violent flooding of the Gouffre River, but he recalled that other precipitation was anticipated in the Charlevoix region by Environment Canada.
Prime Minister Legault’s agenda announces that after his meetings in Charlevoix, he will be back in Quebec City on Wednesday afternoon for a meeting of the Council of Ministers at 1 p.m. and a caucus of deputies at 6:30 p.m.