Federal government gives $77 million for new fire-resistant buildings in Lytton, B.C.

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LYTTON, B.C. — The fire-ravaged community of Lytton, B.C., will get $77 million from the federal government to help it rebuild a fire-resistant and energy-efficient community.

Harjit Sajjan, the minister of International Development, made the announcement today at a gas station that survived the fire just outside of Lytton.

The Vancouver MP says $64 million will be used to help rebuild public buildings, $6 million has been set aside for residents to bring their homes up to the same standards, while small- and medium-sized businesses will get $7.2 million to help them restart.

Two people were killed and much of the community was destroyed when wildfire ripped through the community almost a year ago.

Sajjan says the disaster showed that fire spreads from one building to another, and making buildings fire-resistant would benefit the whole community.

Ottawa announced last week it was advancing a $207-million payment to B.C. as it finalizes applications for the federal disaster assistance fund for communities affected by the wildfire season.

Lytton's Mayor, Jan Polderman, says in a statement that the village council has already introduced a new bylaw to support a vision of building to net-zero, which emits no greenhouse gases.

Sajjan says Lytton could be a model for Canada.

"With extreme weather fuelled by climate change becoming more common, we need to work together as we are doing here in Lytton to show that we can rebuild in a better way. In a more resilient, green and sustainable way."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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