Feedback sought on B.C. flood strategy

The B.C. government has released an intentions paper on flood risk management and is collecting feedback through January.

The B.C. Flood Strategy intends to modernize its approach by focusing on “future-proofing” crisis response, climate change preparation and Indigenous reconciliation, which includes “greater attention paid to environmental sustainability issues, and ecosystem-based approaches that realize the interconnectedness of water and the land,” the intentions paper summary says.

The summary notes that First Nations have been disproportionately impacted by flooding in B.C. and often do not receive adequate funding to minimize impacts from it.

Over 500,000 people live in flood risk areas across B.C., according to the province. The paper suggests a more holistic approach to flood management, and lists multiple actions around understanding flood risks; strengthening flood risk governance; enhancing flood preparedness, response and recovery and investing in flood resilience.

An online survey is open to the public from Nov. 1 to Jan. 6 at www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcfloodstrategy/. The province says it is also engaging with First Nations, Indigenous organizations and local governments as well as industries including natural resources, agriculture and ranching, industry, construction and home building, engineering and road building, tourism and hospitality, and insurance. The final flood strategy will be released in summer 2023.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder