Communities in all regions of British Columbia, Canada--from the Kootenays to Vancouver Island and from the Interior to the Bulkley Valley--will benefit from a variety of cost-shared flood protection initiatives recently announced by the governments of Canada and British Columbia.
Sixteen million dollars will be spent this year on 25 new flood protection initiatives across the province, the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and B.C. Public Safety Minister John van Dongen announced. These initiatives include armoring existing dikes for erosion control and building new flood pumping stations and flood debris traps under the Building Canada infrastructure plan.
"Strengthening our communities and public infrastructure against the effects of extreme natural events is essential to protecting Canadians," said Minister Day. "The Government of Canada is taking action to strengthen local emergency preparedness and response capabilities."
"The significant flooding British Columbia faced in the spring of 2007 clearly demonstrated the unpredictability and the potential danger posed by our rivers and waterways," said Minister van Dongen. "This event and those we see internationally bring the critical necessity of a solid, well-maintained and expanded protection infrastructure into sharp focus."
British Columbia's funding contribution comes from the province's $100-million, 10-year Flood Protection Program, announced in 2007 by Premier Gordon Campbell. Initiatives for 2008 and 2009 were selected based on local government applications that offered the highest level of flood protection in areas at greatest risk. Through its unprecedented $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada provides long-term, stable and predictable funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada supports a stronger, safer and better country. Under Building Canada, more than $2.7 billion has been earmarked for public infrastructure initiatives in British Columbia from 2007 to 2014. Since 2007, $59 million in federal and provincial funding has supported 153 flood protection initiatives in communities across the province.