Some in flooded Quebec town angry new dike will block their waterfront views

MONTREAL – Some lakeside residents of a town northwest of Montreal that was severely flooded last spring after a dike ruptured are now upset the government’s repairs to the structure will obstruct their view of the water.

Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault, however, told reporters Wednesday the government’s decision to repair and raise the structure by 1.5 metres is necessary to protect the town of Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac.

Last April, a dike failed and forced 6,000 people from their homes in the town on Lake of Two Mountains. The Quebec government decided to rebuild the dike and reinforce it by raising it.

But some citizens are furious their lakeside homes will no longer have a view of the water. They say raising the dike is unnecessary because water didn’t rush over the structure last spring to flood the neighbourhood, but broke through it. It needs to be reinforced, not raised, they say.

The mayor of Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac is on the provincial government’s side. At a special meeting Tuesday, town council  voted to give itself the authority to seek a court injunction against citizens who try to slow down construction work on the new dike.

Guilbault said the first responsibility of a provincial politician “is to protect people, and that protection goes by raising and reinforcing the dike.”

The Canadian Press