Residents of the Pontiac region in Quebec could soon find themselves in a newly-declared flood plain.

More than 500 residents gathered inside the Campbell’s Bay Recreation Centre Thursday afternoon for a public consultation session attended by more than 15 reeves, mayors and officials in Quebec. The meeting comes following the Quebec government’s announcement of a new proposed flood zone limits. Residents believe the newly-drawn zones will turn much of Campbell’s Bay into a flood zone; hindering their ability to rebuild, build or repair property in the affected areas.

“The value of their property is directly impacted by the government of Quebec taking a big sharpie and drawing wherever they felt like and nobody here can explain how they came to that conclusion,” said André Fortin, Député de Pontiac MNA.

David Inglis has a cottage along River Road in Campbell’s Bay, he said many residents and cottage owners are still struggling several months after the flooding began. “People canoed into my house there you could even get over the bridge down here,” said Inglis.

Residents inside the public consultation meeting met much of what they heard with cynicism. Remy Pare grew up in the area and still calls it home. Pare believes spring flooding, which forced dozens from their homes was a result of waterway mismanagement.

“Government has a big explanation, you have portage dam the river flow was at least three to four feet lower when everybody else was flooding,” said Pare.

Area resident Paul Morin believes officials failed to protect residents from the effects of a harsh winter and late spring, with increasing water levels in rivers, made for a dangerous result.

“They had plenty of time to get prepared and deal with the influx and I believed they waited until the last minute,” said Morin.

“It will make the whole region very difficult to attract population. We lost population when the mills closed, we are at 14,200. We need to keep that population and grow it,” said Pontiac Reeve Jane Toller.