Today, the governments of Canada and British Columbia announced approximately $10.7 million in federal and provincial funding to support work on 30 projects under the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP).
The announcement was made by Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General for British Columbia, and Harjit Singh Sajjan, federal Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Vancouver South, on behalf of the federal Minister of Public Safety. Additionally, some municipalities and non-government organizations partnered with British Columbia to provide an additional $1.4 million in support of projects.
Through the NDMP, the Government of Canada is helping to address rising flood risks and costs, and build the foundation for informed investments that could reduce, or even negate, the effects of flood events. Funding is available for risk assessments, flood mapping, mitigation planning and small-scale mitigation projects such as storm culverts.
Of the 30 projects announced today:
- Sixteen will provide funding for the completion of risk assessments to inform flood risks, for a total of $4.95 million;
- Four will help communities identify specific impacts of a flood event on structures and people through the development of flood maps, for a total of $3.07 million;
- Three will help communities plan to mitigate against future flooding events, for a total of $952,000; and
- Seven will fund small-scale structural mitigation projects, for a total of $3.15 million.
Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General –
“With the 2017 floods still fresh in our minds, we are pleased to greenlight funding for projects that will help communities identify and mitigate flood risks. The B.C. government is committed to working collaboratively with the federal and local governments to improve public safety and emergency preparedness for all British Columbians.”
Ralph Goodale, federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness –
“Weather-related natural disasters are getting more severe, more frequent, more damaging and more expensive. This is a threat not only to the safety of our communities, but to our economic stability. The Government of Canada is determined to reduce these risks in partnership with provinces and territories. The projects announced today will help British Columbia better prepare for and respond to flood risks, increasing their overall disaster resiliency.”
Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Vancouver South –
“This funding will help protect communities across British Columbia from flooding, and mitigate potential impacts that could result from emergencies. Collaboration across all levels of government is imperative to ensure that Canada is properly prepared in the case of an emergency. The National Disaster Mitigation Program reflects this fundamental need to work together.”
- The NDMP reflects an investment of $200 million over five years, of which $183 million is for cost-shared, merit-based projects with provinces and territories to reduce the impacts of natural disasters.
- Since inception in 2015, the NDMP has funded 166 projects across Canada that are helping to build safer, more resilient communities.
- The Government of Canada cost-shares up to 50% of eligible expenses for provincial projects and 75% of eligible expenses for territorial projects. The federal government contributed $5.7 million and the British Columbia government contributed over $5 million in funding for these projects. Provincial and territorial authorities may collaborate with, and redistribute funding to eligible entities such as municipal or other local governments.
- In addition to investing in provincial and territorial flood mitigation projects through the NDMP, the Government of Canada:
- Is investing in public awareness activities and risk and resiliency tools like the Federal Flood Mapping Guidelines, to help all levels of government to make informed decisions around flood mitigation;
- Has created a new $2-billion federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund to support the infrastructure required to deal with the effects of a changing climate; and
- Is integrating climate resilience into the National Building Code and conducting research to factor climate resilience into the design of buildings.
- According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, insured damage in 2016 topped $4.9 billion – passing the previous annual record of $3.2 billion set in 2013 – and that the annual economic cost of disasters around the world has increased five-fold since the 1980s. Flooding damage has accounted for 80% of federal disaster assistance payments over the past 20 years.
- Studies have demonstrated that when structural and non-structural investments are implemented in concert, the result is that for every dollar invested there is a $4 reduction in costs of a disaster.
National Disaster Mitigation Program (publicsafety.gc.ca)
Federal Flood Mapping Guidelines (publicsafety.gc.ca)
PreparedBC is British Columbia's one-stop shop for disaster readiness information. For tips on how to prepare an emergency plan and what to include in an emergency kit, visit PreparedBC: www.gov.bc.ca/PreparedBC
For tips on how to stay safe, follow Emergency Management BC on Twitter at: @EmergencyInfoBC (twitter.com)
A backgrounder follows.