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Ottawa transfers first payment of $500 million to Alberta for flood repairs

The federal government has transferred a first payment of $500 million to Alberta to help offset the devastating effects of last June’s widespread flooding.

Jason Kenney, the regional minister for Southern Alberta and minister of Employment and Social Development, made the announcement at the end of a speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

Ottawa had already set aside $2.8 billion to help after with the expenses Alberta incurred after several communities, most notably Calgary and High River, were hit hard by the flood waters beginning on June 21, 2013.

The federal government pays up to 90 per cent of the costs associated with disasters.

Total damage for the worst natural disaster in Alberta history including insurance claims, is in excess of $6 billion.

Thousands of southern Albertans were forced from their homes and many have still not returned.