Four communities in B.C.’s interior and north have been approved to receive their share of more than $8.5 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding.
The funding will support structural flood mitigation projects, improving the communities’ ability to be resilient and prepared in an emergency.
Funding for projects in Dawson Creek, Sparwood, Vernon and Williams Lake has been approved through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund’s (CEPF) structural flood-mitigation stream. This current funding stream targets projects to prevent, eliminate or reduce the impacts of flood hazards. Successful applicants for the latest round of funding hail from throughout B.C.
“This program illustrates collaboration at its best,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The benefit of a funding program like this one is that it directly responds to the needs communities identify as important to mitigating flood risk. Through this program, we can better work with local and regional governments to protect public safety through important local projects.”
Since the September 2017 Budget Update, communities and governments in B.C. have received more than $60 million through the CEPF. Funding for the Structural Flood Mitigation component of the CEPF was announced at the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention in September 2017. This funding is part of a $69.5-million plan designed to help communities prepare for, and respond to, disasters.
“This program has gone a long way toward increasing British Columbia’s resiliency in the face of potential flooding,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “This kind of mitigation is one step toward better prepared communities, and we’re pleased to be able to help provide the resources needed to improve emergency preparedness right across this province.”
For example, Vernon has been approved to receive $747,000 to construct a sedimentation pond to reduce deposits along BX Creek, which has a long history of flooding and sediment transport.
“Preventing floods keeps people and vital infrastructure safe in our community,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee. “Local governments are committed to enhancing public safety. After the issues at BX Creek were identified during flood risk assessments and mapping, we’re taking the necessary steps to help the City of Vernon prevent future disasters.”
The CEPF is a suite of programs designed to enhance the resiliency of local governments, First Nations communities and their residents. The Province provides the funding, which is administered by UBCM and divided into seven streams:
- Flood Risk Assessment, Flood Mapping and Flood Mitigation Planning
- Emergency Support Services
- Emergency Operations Centres and Training
- Structural Flood Mitigation
- Evacuation Route Planning
- Indigenous Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Training
- Volunteer and Composite Fire Departments Equipment and Training
The next deadlines to apply for this program are:
- Flood Risk Assessment, Flood Mapping and Flood Mitigation Planning – Feb. 26, 2021
- Emergency Operations Centres and Training – March 26, 2021
More information on how to apply can be found on the UBCM website:
A backgrounder follows.