NDP leader will help fight for Deer Lake flood victims

Cory Hurley cory.hurley@tc.tc
Published on July 19, 2014

Lorraine Michael is leaving Deer Lake’s Strawberry Festival with a bitter taste in her mouth. It had nothing to do with strawberries or the festival.

Like other politicians, Michael and the NDP were contacted by Richard Dewey on behalf of the Deer Lake homeowners experiencing flooding allegedly linked to seepage from Deer Lake canal.

Just where the water that is flooding hundreds of properties in the Elizabeth Avenue, Garden Road and Devon Road areas of town is coming from has been the debate of those residents, the town, Kruger (owners of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper and Deer Lake Power) and the province for several months. However, the issue goes back decades.

Michael, who annually attends the Strawberry Festival in Deer Lake and was canvassing the area towns as leader of the NDP, met with Dewey and other residents Friday morning. NDP critic George Murphy had previously questioned governing party members on the problem, and Michael wanted to hear from the people impacted herself.

She said she finds the situation particularly concerning, especially with the possible evidence of minutes at a council meeting that the issue goes backs decades.

“Nobody seems to be taking it seriously,” she said via telephone from St. Judes.

Michael said her party will continue to raise the issue in the House of Assembly and question the governing party on the lack of resolve.

She said it is not good enough that homeowners continue to suffer financial and health woes while this is debated.

“I think noise has to be made about it,” she said. “The people have a real case, and we are willing to ask more questions of the minister and why the province is not taking action to see this is taken care of.”