$416 million in disaster funding comes through for homes lost in B.C. wildfires

·1 min read

VANCOUVER — The federal government says it's preparing for what could be a challenging summer of wildfires in parts of the country as several ministers gathered in Vancouver to outline how funds will support those already affected.

Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair says it's advancing $416 million to rebuild homes lost in the 2021 fires, including the razed village of Lytton, in response to a provincial request for disaster financial assistance.

The Lytton First Nation will also receive $24 million in recovery funds, including 39 interim housing units.

Blair, who first announced the funding Thursday, says the Lytton fire revealed numerous vulnerabilities that the federal and provincial governments need to respond to.

In the Canadian firefighting effort, Blair says more than $500 million from the federal budget will be used to train more firefighters, help communities buy firefighting equipment, develop a wildfire satellite monitoring system and support First Nations in emergency planning.

The minister says last year's wildfires, heat waves, flooding and landslides show B.C. has been on the front line of challenging natural disasters and the partnership between the federal and provincial governments ensures they can respond in the right way.

"The work we are doing together is important, but it's not just simply a matter of spending money," Blair says. "There is work to do in planning, and preparation, soil remediation, and working to help people restore their sense of pride and security within their own communities."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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