Two Vancouver Island communities have been approved to receive their share of more than $8.5 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding.
This funding will support structural flood mitigation projects, improving their ability to be resilient and prepared in an emergency.
The funding has been approved through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund’s structural flood mitigation stream, targeting projects to prevent, eliminate or reduce the impacts of flood hazards.
The K’omoks First Nation has been approved to receive $472,000 for a project to protect against erosion impacting the community, and Zeballos will receive $750,000 for debris flow and flood hazard mitigation.
Since the September 2017 Budget Update, communities and governments throughout B.C. have received more than $60 million through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF). The successful applicants for the latest round of funding hail from every part of 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.”
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.
“The foreshore erosion protection project is a great example of how we can work with nature to protect valuable sites,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “This support will help make the K’omoks community more secure and our shoreline more resilient to storms, tides and erosion.”
Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island, said: “One of the things that locals love most about Zeballos is its spectacular natural surroundings, but those surroundings come with natural hazards. Smart investments like these will help reduce the risks from things like slides and flooding to people in town. I’d like to recognize Mayor Colborne and Zeballos council for all their advocacy and work with the Province to help make this happen.”
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 & Training – March 26, 2021
More information on how to apply can be found on the UBCM website:
A backgrounder follows.