The Manitoba government will be investing nearly $8 million to help more than 80 municipalities enhance spring flood preparations and protection.
“Manitobans always rally together in challenging times and while we are facing unprecedented global circumstances, our government is helping municipalities take important steps to enhance flood protection,” said Municipal Relations Minister Rochelle Squires. “Municipalities know best what will work for them, and this program is designed to help ensure protection put in place this year will benefit communities for many years to come.”
Under the 2020 Flood Protection Program, the province offered one-time funding support to municipalities in enhancing municipal capacity for flood preparedness, equipment costs, and building resiliency for future floods. Initially, the one-time program was capped at $3 million, but in light of the need for preparation this spring, the funding will more than double for projects in areas all across Manitoba, according to Minister Squires.
The new funding will add resources for projects and equipment for the crews who will be working on flood protection in areas all across Manitoba, while boosting economic activity during extraordinary global challenges, the minister noted.
Proposals were reviewed by a panel made up of representatives from the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM), Winnipeg Metropolitan Region, and the Manitoba government. Evaluation of proposals considered factors including flood risk, ability of the proposal to enhance emergency preparedness or resiliency for future flood events, as well as potential regional benefits.
“The Association of Manitoba Municipalities commends the provincial government for more than doubling its initial commitment to support the Spring Flood Preparedness program,” said Ralph Groening, president of the AMM. “As municipalities cannot fight floods alone, these additional dollars further help underscore the importance of the provincial-municipal partnership.”
Based on applications, the breakdown for funding by district is:
• Central District—$1,271,662.07 for 14 municipalities.
• Eastern District —$776,451.01 for 10 municipalities.
• Interlake District —$1,059.167.70 for 10 municipalities.
• Midwestern District—$715,082.41 for nine municipalities.
• Northern District—$76,899.00 for two municipalities.
• Parkland District—$759,262.68 for 11 municipalities.
• Western District—$1,139,583.73 for 15 municipalities.
• Winnipeg Metropolitan Region—$2,041,770.52 for 13 municipalities.
“The Winnipeg Metropolitan Region commends the Province of Manitoba for providing support through the 2020 Flood Protection Program in such a timely and direct way, as municipalities are on the front lines in flood fighting across this province,” said Colleen Sklar, executive director of the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region. “With an important focus on partnerships and projects that cross jurisdictions, this program will ensure resources are used for the maximum benefit of all Manitobans.”
The funding covers a range of items including generators, pumps, steaming equipment to unclog frozen culverts, utility trailers, equipment for emergency operations centres, sandbags, and other small equipment. These items will assist municipalities in protecting vital infrastructure and reducing flood damage.
A full list of the 2020 Flood Protection Program projects is available here.