People around the province are benefiting from more reliable roadways and local jobs as a result of funding from StrongerBC: BC's Economic Recovery Plan.
The new $20.7-million Climate Adaptation Program features a range of projects throughout British Columbia that will increase the resiliency of the highway network and help lessen the adverse effects of climate change.
“One of the key threats to the reliability of the highway network is climate related, and examples include high-intensity rainfall events, extreme freshet seasons and flooding,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “These events have been increasing in intensity due to climate change, and this initiative ensures a reliable transportation system will be in place for future emergency events as well as the continued movement of people, goods and services.”
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for the transportation network to be reliable to help ensure people in rural communities can get to medical facilities quickly, and so first responders, medical personnel and medical supplies can get to communities in a timely manner.
The program features projects that will mitigate and address the effects of climate change in more than 60 locations, while building back B.C. by providing good jobs to British Columbians.
“Our StrongerBC Economic Recovery Plan is about getting people back to work while also supporting B.C. communities to become more resilient to the impacts of climate change,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “The projects generated by this program will create good jobs and improve B.C.’s transportation network, contributing to the strong economic recovery of communities in every corner of our province.”
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, said: “Every year, British Columbians see first-hand the escalating impacts that climate change has on our communities and infrastructure. Floods, wildfires and water shortages are increasingly common and severe. This investment will upgrade systems to guard against extreme flooding, erosion and other climate change events. It’s part of our economic recovery plan and CleanBC commitment to help people, communities and the natural environment protect against the impacts of climate change.”
Fleming added: “These projects are spread throughout the province as this issue is not specific to one geographic area. This ensures work created by this program will benefit people in many communities, particularly small construction companies that have seen a reduction in work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Projects include riverbank erosion protection, creek channel training, culvert upsizing, flood protection works, slope erosion protection and avalanche system maintenance.
B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan sets out the Province’s latest steps to help people, businesses and communities recover and come out of COVID-19 stronger and better prepared through job creation, enhanced safety, accessibility and economic stimulus. B.C.’s total provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic is $10 billion.
Find out more about B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PREM0052-001780
StrongerBC: BC's Economic Recovery Plan: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.