Saguenay: victims reassured despite questions

Saguenay: disaster victims reassured despite questions


The victims evacuated from La Baie to Saguenay who will eventually be able to return to their homes are ready to trust the Ministry of Transport, despite the questions that remain. 

The engineer in charge of the ground movement section at the Ministère des Transports (MTQ), Denis Demers, met with the owners on Wednesday afternoon. “We told them that after the work, we would be ready to go and live in their house and sleep on our two ears,” he said.

“The news is more encouraging than 'a few days ago,' recognized Alex Gagnon, one of the evacuees since Saturday evening.

The MTQ intends to soften the slope, currently 20 meters, and relies on the composition and movement of soils recorded in the area in the past to affirm that “after the work, the place will be safe.”

Alex Gagnon, who lives in an intergenerational home with five other members of his family, is reassured…in the meantime.

“I am confident that we will be able to return to our house, but the delay of two to four months is an issue, he qualified. If another landslide occurs by then, all plans could change.”

Same story from another displaced owner, Jonathan Ouellette.

“The risk will be minimal once the stabilization work is completed,” he said.

Other owners, who preferred to remain anonymous, are wondering whether their insurer will increase premiums and what impact the work will have on the market value of their residence once the work is completed. So much so that some would have preferred to take advantage of the compensation of $ 375,000, reconstruction value, approved by the Legault government on Wednesday.

“There, right away, I'll take it!”, confessed Jonathan Ouellette. “It would eliminate all the little doubts I may have. On the other hand, I am certain that the work will remove all these doubts in the future. A broker told me that I would have no difficulty selling, and Mayor Julie Dufour talked about the possibility of producing a document certifying that the land was not causing any problems.

The calendar of work will be specified in the coming weeks. As this is an emergency situation, the city of Saguenay may award the contract without a call for tenders.