Provide disaster relief to the Di Poce family who lost their Canmore, Alberta home in the Cougar Creek flood of June, 2013
This petition had 942 supporters
One family was left behind......The provincial government is responsible for managing the Cougar Creek. When the design failed, the resultant flood caused Frank & Ruth Di Poce to lose the home they built 18 years ago. The Alberta Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) denied them ANY compensation on a technicality, deeming the home to be a 'secondary' home, despite the fact that their son had been a PERMANENT resident in the home for ten years. Almost all their fellow Cougar Creek neighbours got disaster relief funds. The Di Poces got nada. ( I am attempting to determine who else was denied and why). They lost their future retirement home, (essentially their life savings), and have been devastated by the DRP's ruling.
WHY the DRP refused them? in a nutshell...their hands are tied. Both the federal & provincial share in funding the DRP, and have an 'agreement' as to who does or does not get relief. The DRP administers this 'agreement'. By it, only primary homeowners, and small buisness owners (if they meet strict criteria**) are eligible for disaster recovery. All secondary homeowners are excluded. Period. NO EXCEPTIONS.
WHY THE DiPOCES (and others in a similar situation) MERIT RELIEF ON COMPASSIONATE GROUNDS.
1-Their son was a PERMANENT resident in the home for 10 years, where he worked, payed taxes etc. This was not a recreational home with sporadic occupation. This was a property providing a PERMANENT home to an ALBERTAN & Canmorite, in a town already short of low cost rental. Simply put, It was NOT BEING USED AS A SECONDARY HOME. The DRP used an ‘escape clause' to avoid paying disaster relief. Interestingly, if the DiPoces had been charging rent to their son, (and the amounts met the eligibilty criteria), then the DiPoces would have received compensation. How ironic, their benevolence became their downfall. It’s absurd to think that if they had been making money off their son by charging him rent, then they would be eligible for disaster relief. Ridiculous. The DRP may be observing the letter of the law, but not the spirit.
2-Residents of Canada for the most part do NOT have insurance for overland flooding, so that was not an option to the DiPoces. They were totally dependent on the provincial government's management of the Cougar Creek to protect them, and THEY DID NOT DO THEIR JOB. A debris dam broke upstream many years ago, AND THEY NEVER REPLACED IT. It was debris downstream that, in the end, caused the damage. And it was NOT JUST a ONE-OFF, because the YEAR BEFORE, the creek became dangerously high, and almost forced an evacuation of the homes on the west side of the creek. Extensive damage was done to the banks, and and a section of the bike path ended up in the river, much like the DiPoce home ended up the next year. Bottom line, it was the province who failed to adequately protect the neighbourhood. Period. Full stop.
3- The secondary home escape clause is random, and arbritary. A neighbour across the street, may be much better off financially, and own 2 or or more other homes, yet they would get compensation, cause by the luck of the draw it was the 'primary' that was damaged. So pray, God-forbid, that if you do have a home damaged by a disaster, (more irony coming...), that it be your primary home, so you would at least be compensated! (The whole 'secondary' home classification is a much bigger issue, and perhaps beyond the scope of this petition.Perhaps.)
So count !,2,3 and whaddyagot? The province is responsible for what happened,they should man up, bite the bullet, do whats right, and pony up. (Of course other homeowners in a similar situation should also get disaster relief.). Despite their continued love for Canmore, the DiPoces have vowed never to return again, feeling rejected & abandoned by the DRP's decision. The DRP say they are confined by the nature of the agreement they have with the province. The province, in turn, say they are bound by the agreement that they have with the federal government. What do the feds say? Lets ask them.
It doesn't matter whose fault it is, it's justice thats required, not blame-shifting.
FULL DISCLOSURE. Frank DiPoce is my cousin, and it was I who invited the DiPoces to idyllic Canmore for their inaugral visit. If this petition suceeeds, it would enable their return to their beloved town.
The town of Canmore and its' mayor, John Borrowman, have, from the beginning, aggressively supported the cause of the DiPoces, and other secondary home owners. They have done their dang best to help the DiPoces, but its not up to them, its a provincial/federal matter. Lets challenge the DRP, the province and the feds, to show some compassion and, at least, give the Di Poces, (and others in the same boat), the same compensation their neighbours got.
Please sign this petition to demand the Di Poces receive disaster relief.
Help bring the Di Poces back to Canmore, the town they still love, the town brimming with warm, compassionate people,..... and not bad scenary! Bring the DiPoces back to Canmore. Full circle.
The DiPoces are David, the province & the feds are GOLIATH. BE the sling, sign the petition, and lets rebuild the DiPoce home, one signature at a time.
Sign it and get your friends to sign it. Please, and thank you.
Romeo Bruni MD
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