FREDERICTON (GNB) – An independent consultant, Calian Group Ltd., has been chosen to prepare an arm’s-length review of the provincial government’s response to the 2018 spring flood.

The consultant will meet with municipal councillors and officials from communities affected by the flooding.

Public meetings are also part of the review. These 90-minute meetings will allow participants to share their experiences and ideas on the response to the spring flood. Additional meetings may be added depending on the level of interest. Residents will also have the option of providing feedback online.

Following is a schedule of public meetings:

  • March 23, 11 a.m. – Quispamsis
  • March 23, 3 p.m. – West Saint John
  • March 25, 6:30 p.m. – Jemseg
  • March 26, 6:30 p.m. – Maugerville
  • March 30, 2 p.m. – Grand Falls

The 2018 spring freshet was one of historic proportions in many communities. About 12,000 properties were affected by the flood. A total of 1,143 households, consisting of 2,533 people, registered with the Canadian Red Cross.

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization (NBEMO), received 2,972 damage reports and 1,185 applications for disaster financial assistance.

“NBEMO’s role is to respond to emergencies and to assist communities in times of extraordinary need,” said Public Safety Minister Carl Urquhart. “We are having an outside expert review whether we met our own expectations during this unprecedented event and whether we can find ways to improve our response to future events. The focus of this process is on the response to last spring’s flooding by the various governments, agencies and others who responded to this disaster.”

The government has already made improvements to emergency management.

Since the 2018 flood, NBEMO has doubled the number of regional emergency management co-ordinators from six to 12. As well, the department continues to work with local communities and emergency management organizations to help improve their response capabilities.

Additional planning has been undertaken with communities to identify flood-prone areas and to familiarize residents with flood maps of their respective areas. River Watch 2019 will begin on March 11, with flood preparedness documents being made available on the NBEMO website and social media accounts. The organization is also helping communities to submit mitigation proposals under the National Disaster Mitigation Program.

The report will be made public once it is completed.

Calian is a Canadian company offering professional services to a range of sectors, including emergency management. The company has offices across the country, including one in Oromocto.