2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit
It seems the Province has no intention of compensating private property Owners for damages due to Okanagan Lake flooding without a fight ... a class action suit is inevitable.
So far I've been in contact with Dan Ashton, BC MLA, BC Disaster Financial Assistance, Kim Hyatt and Shaun Reimer.
I attended the 2017 Okanagan Basin Water Board annual meeting and distributed this document: OBWB
If you've suffered flood damage (erosion, wharf loss, ancillary structures, pumping system, access, etc.) due to Okanagan Lake levels and desire compensation, then please contact me.
Is the Province liable?
1. The Province operates a dam in Penticton from which they control Okanagan Lake levels and therefore any flooding is NOT an "Act of God".
2. Operation of control structures automatically infers a duty of care to save harmless both public and private property Owners. Dam Safety Act
3. In 2017, the Province deliberately left the lake level +/- 400mm higher than normal as they anticipated a drought.
4. Public entities are being fully compensated for damages from the flooding yet NOTHING has been changed to include private Owner losses. see: COMPENSATION AND DISASTER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE REGULATION.
5. If the Province ignites a "backburn" while fighting a forest fire and this act results in damage to private property, the provincial Wildfire Act allows for private landowners to be compensated for any damages stemming from the backburn. Globe & Mail
Why is this dam in operation?
The Province uses this dam to maintain downstream seasonal water needs (see: Okanagan Flood Control System below) yet laws, agreements, charters or acts requiring the Province to maintain a such a supply DO NOT EXIST!
The Province essentially guesses how much water to retain in Okanagan Lake each year. (see "How does the Province establish lake levels?") Rather than engaging Professionals to perform a "risk assessment", the Province erroneously assumes their "balancing act" is the only logical solution. Millions have been spent to construct and maintain downstream irrigation works yet NOTHING has been spent to guarantee sufficient seasonal volumes. see: The Oliver Canal If pumps were installed to supplement flow, downstream water needs would be guaranteed and eliminate any flood risks. Considering the millions spent just to construct and maintain the Oliver Canal, to NOT have constructed works that would negate flood damage and guarantee downstream needs, is a "lack of duty of care" by the Province.
How does the Province establish lake levels?
Kim Hyatt of DFO, co-wrote the program being used by the Province to establish projected lake levels. I asked if his program was properly used this year...
"i.e. 3-5 day forecasts are good; 10-day forecasts are often barely useable and certainly are not reliable)." yet the Province uses this data to predict where Okanagan Lake levels should be set almost half a year in advance.
Most property Owners are planning to rebuild what was damaged by the flooding. My immediate question is,
"what is stopping these morons from flooding everyone out again?"