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Quebec imposed a moratorium on construction in flood-prone areas ; Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac-exempt


Andrea Lubeck

18 June 2019 13:30

Photo : Denis Méthot

The ministry of municipal Affairs and Housing has published a draft decree establishing an area of special intervention (ZIS), prohibiting the reconstruction and new construction in one of the 813 municipalities. It will be in place until a new normative framework was adopted by the government and incorporated in the municipal by-laws.

The area of intervention special applies to the flood zone 0-20 years “delineated in the planning tools of the municipalities and on the land that has been inundated by the spring flood of 2017, and 2019,” wrote the ministry in a document. Among the municipalities that were included in the ZIS, 312 have suffered flooding, in 2017 or in 2019.

Quebec says that the ZIS is put in place, in particular to ensure the safety of persons and property and to promote strict management of flood-prone areas.

Partial moratorium

The draft decree provides for a partial freeze on any construction, alteration, addition or implantation new. It is only partial to avoid a full moratorium, which ” may prevent unduly the completion of work legitimate “. Some works, however, are possible.

However, it is possible for the victims to proceed with a renovation of any building of which the damages are less than 50% of the cost of nine of reconstruction. “The major work performed on a building or a structure shall include the immunization of all of this-or of it,” says the ministry.

A host of measures serve as the renovations. Among other things, any habitable room shall not be located in a basement, no opening can only be reached by the flood of 100 years old or no floor to the ground floor can also be reached by this flood level.


The City of Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac is generally exempt from the ZIS despite the flooding that occurred following the breakage of the dike. Thus, the reconstruction of the buildings is permitted, but the construction on the vacant lots at the June 10, 2019 is prohibited. However, those that will become waves after demolition will be able to see new construction.

The municipality, however, has an obligation to surrender to the department, in the same way as the other municipalities of the ZIS. It will also have to pass the building permits granted in the area flooded in the spring of 2019.

The BAC welcomes the project

Pierre Babinsky, director of communications and public affairs for the insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), indicates that the agency “welcomes any move to reduce the number of properties in areas of high flood risk” and points to its efforts with governments.

“After the floods of 2017 and this year, it is necessary to make the point and decide, as a society, how we want to manage the risk of flooding in Quebec of an efficient and sustainable way. We need to stop allow more people still find themselves in high-risk areas. A moratorium on the construction and reconstruction in flood-prone areas, as this reflection takes place is a responsible approach that the TRAY supports “, he adds.

Mr. Babinsky reiterates the request of the BAC that the risk mitigation measures put in place are ” adequate and sustainable in order to avoid the false feeling of security that could lead the authorities and citizens to decrease their vigilance in the future “.

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