B.C. announces additional $180M to help communities prepare for natural disasters
Local governments and First Nations in British Columbia are getting more support to prepare for the risk of natural disasters related to climate change.
The Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness says it will add $180 million to support projects that help communities prepare for and mitigate the effects of natural disasters.
Premier David Eby said the additional funds are coming out of the province's $5.7 billion budget surplus, bringing the government's total contribution to the community emergency preparedness fund to $369 million since its inception in 2017
"Our government believes strongly that we should be supporting communities and addressing deficits that could make communities less livable down the road," he said.
The government's Community Emergency Preparedness Fund has previously supported projects that include a dike in Merritt, public cooling infrastructure in Victoria and tsunami evacuation planning in Tofino.
It says it will also now provide a one-stop online platform for communities and First Nations to review flood, wildfire, weather and other hazardous events data that had previously been spread over various government websites.
The program includes supports for communities to prepare for the effects of extreme cold and heat.
The government says since 2017, local governments and First Nations have received funds for more than 1,300 projects to prepare for natural disasters and climate-related emergencies.
Eby said British Columbians have disproportionately experienced the effects of climate change with recent floods, wildfires and extreme weather.