April 21, 2017

The Flood Recovery and Reconstruction Act was enacted in December 2013 initiating amendments to the Municipal Government Act that would provide for regulation making powers to control or prohibit development in a floodway, and a provision to exempt floodway development in municipalities where it already exists. To develop a regulation to support the Flood Recovery and Reconstruction Act, the Government of Alberta initiated stakeholder consultation in 2014 which consisted of the establishment of a Task Force and the availability of an online survey. The AAMDC participated in this process.

The AAMDC has been enquiring as to the progress of the proposed Floodway Development Regulation which has not yet been finalized. In response, Municipal Affairs recognizes that municipal leaders want access to information to guide future development and help inform municipal plans. The Ministry emphasizes their commitment to continuing to work with flood hazard communities to find collaborative solutions to promote safe and resilient communities.

As the regulation is currently under the Cabinet legislative review and approval process, Municipal Affairs is unable to provide definitive timelines for its completion. As such, AAMDC members are reminded that until the proposed regulation is approved, development decisions continue to be guided by each municipality’s land-use bylaw and policies pertaining to flood hazard areas.

The Government of Alberta has indicated that studies to identify river hazards and produce new flood hazard maps are continuing.  Studies currently underway include the Bow, Elbow, Sheep, Highwood, Athabasca, and Peace Rivers. In total, approximately 560 kilometers of river will be studied and mapped.

In addition, there is ongoing technical work on five studies started in the fall of 2015. These studies include the MD of Bighorn, Canmore, Stoney Nation, Cochrane, Bragg Creek, Tsuut’ina Nation, Calgary, Black Diamond, Turner Valley, Okotoks, High River, Peace River, and surrounding municipal districts and counties. According to Municipal Affairs, the studies are expected to be completed by the end of this year. A study of Fort McMurray started in the fall of 2016 with completion expected in spring 2018.

The AAMDC will advise members of developments on the proposed Floodway Development Regulation and flood hazard mapping initiatives when they are available.

Enquiries may be directed to:

Tasha Blumenthal
Policy Analyst

Kim Heyman
Director, Advocacy & Communications

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