09/18/2013 09:36 EDT | Updated 11/18/2013 05:12 EST

High River Residents To Receive Compensation For Broken Doors During RCMP Gun Collection


HIGH RIVER, Alta. - Residents of a flood-ravaged Alberta town will be compensated for having their doors and windows busted in during the crisis.

The town council in High River, Alta., says it will be in charge of a process to reimburse people for the damage caused by RCMP and first responders as they went door to door during the evacuation of the town in June.

The town issued a news release Wednesday saying the process will be carried out with the collaboration of provincial officials and the RCMP.

Many residents had complained of delays in getting compensation and expressed anger about the RCMP's seizure of weapons from homes during the flood.

The issue of whether the RCMP had the right to take the guns, most of which were later returned, has been a political football in Alberta.

Wildrose MLA Joe Anglin has called for a public inquiry into the matter, saying he can't understand why doors had to be kicked in if the army was flying over the community with infrared cameras.

Conservative Premier Alison Redford has said that Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith changed her tune, having at first supported the RCMP's seizure of weapons.

In early July, Smith welcomed a call by RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson for an investigation into the seizure of firearms, saying it had only "aggravated an already tense and stressful situation.''

In Wednesday's news release, town officials said residents who sustained damage as a result of RCMP searches should call the local detachment.

"An officer will come to your home and confirm the damage," said the release. "Please have photographs of the damage or take photos. Repair the damage and submit the receipts for re-imbursement to the RCMP detachment in High River. Following that, the Town of High River will process and mail the payment as quickly as possible."

The news release noted that anyone who has already started a claim with the RCMP will not be required to resubmit the claim.

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