Federal funding has been announced to increase flood resiliency and improve the safety of residents in 12 communities across B.C.
“We’ve seen how devastating extreme weather events, floods, land erosion and fast-flowing rivers can be, putting families and whole communities at risk,” said Patrick Weiler, member of parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea-to-Sky Country. “To help protect communities, and ensure they are more resilient to climate variability and change, we are investing over $19.8 million in critical infrastructure, such as crossings, dikes, berms, reservoirs, and more.”
Among the projects approved, the City of Penticton will construct a deeper and wider channel in Penticton Creek to increase fish habitat, improve bank stability, and ensure the creek can better withstand future flood flows. The project will also remove three deteriorated drop structures and approximately 350 metres of existing concrete lining, replacing them with river rock, riffles, and pools.
In Dawson Creek, the 102nd Avenue crossing will be replaced with a two-lane, 26-metre clear span bridge bordered by a protected pedestrian sidewalk on both sides. In addition, water and storm mains crossing the creek will be replaced and catch basins will be added to divert stormwater from the road surface.
The Village of Tahsis, which is highly susceptible to flooding, will upgrade three existing flood mitigation works: the North Maquinna Drive Floodwall, the Cook Street Dike, and the Boston Street Internal Drainage System. Once implemented, these upgrades will protect residents and existing assets from future flooding.
The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are investing over $24.5 million in these projects through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s new COVID-19 Community Resilience Stream. Canada is contributing over $19.8 million, and B.C. is contributing over $4.7 million. Federal funding is conditional on fulfilling all requirements related to consultation with Indigenous groups and environmental assessment.
“This investment will help communities better face future flood risks by improving the infrastructure that protects them, and I’m pleased we’ve been able to work with our federal partners on this program,” said Mike Farnworth, British Columbia’s minister of public safety and solicitor general. “Resiliency for all of B.C. means supporting the vital work that better prepares us for emergencies, and these funds will give communities more tools to become stronger in the face of risk.”
Additional projects will be announced in the coming weeks.