City’s plan ignores community & wastes taxpayers’ money
January 18, 2021
CALGARY – After more than two years of attempting to work collaboratively with the City of Calgary and using a facts-based approach to express growing concerns from residents, the Bowness Responsible Flood Mitigation society (BRFM) is calling on all Calgarians to oppose a flawed multi-million dollar project.
“We’re totally in favour of effective flood mitigation,” says Jean Woeller, President of BRFM. “We want that. We need that. But the City’s proposed plan simply doesn’t work, and they refuse to admit it, preferring instead to waste taxpayers’ money when economic times are hardest.”
BRFM contends that the City’s own long-awaited studies prove that the berm won’t prevent groundwater flooding, the main issue facing the community. BRFM also points to cost estimates that are grossly misleading, and to a lack of honest transparency in the City’s engagement process.
“It’s literally as if they don’t care,” says David Chalack, Bowness resident and former President of the Calgary Stampede. “We’ve had countless emails, phone calls, letters and meetings with all levels of Administration and our local councillor, and none of it has meant anything. And the information booklet the City recently sent to homeowners was largely spin,” Chalack says. “They are simply swapping out overland flooding with groundwater flooding and are not providing the right maps. It’s all very disingenuous.”
BRFM contends that the City has taken numerous steps to try and legitimize the process but without looking closely enough at the results of their own technical and feasibility studies. “They have made-up their mind and now they’re just checking boxes,” says Woeller. “The victims will be the residents of Bowness – who will continue to be flooded, and all taxpayers – who will have their pockets picked.”
BRFM is encouraging community citizens, Calgarians and media to participate in a series of open houses, specifically a session on January 19 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss the impact of groundwater (registration is at engage.calgary.ca/bowness-flood-barrier-project). “It’s time for the facts to be heard,” says Chalack. “The City wants Calgarians to believe that building this berm is good for our community and in the best interest of Calgarians public safety. Neither are true.”