May 1, 2019
Public Safety Canada
Flooding is Canada’s costliest and most frequent natural disaster. Today, Jennifer O’Connell, Member of Parliament for Pickering-Uxbridge, on behalf of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced $45,000 in federal funding to the Province of Ontario under the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP) to better plan for and prevent the effects of flooding.
This funding supported the acquisition of elevation information required to update floodplain mapping for the Town of Whitby and City of Oshawa, as well as small portions of the City of Pickering, Town of Ajax, Townships of Uxbridge, Scugog, and Municipality of Clarington.
Central Lake Ontario Conservation (CLOCA) delivered this one-year project, initiated in 2018. They used Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to map a portion of the watershed, covering an area of 385 square kilometres. The use of LiDAR generated more detailed and accurate floodplain maps and improved flood models, providing a better understanding of flood risks and allowing for more informed land use planning decisions.
The Government of Canada cost-shares up to 50 per cent of eligible expenses for provincial projects and 75 per cent of eligible expenses for territorial projects. Central Lake Ontario Conservation, in collaboration with their partners, the Regional Municipality of Durham, the City of Oshawa, the City of Pickering, and the Town of Whitby, contributed $40,000 to implement these projects.
Through the recently released Emergency Management Strategy for Canada, the Government of Canada is committed to working with provincial and territorial partners to better identify, plan for, and reduce the impact of weather-related emergencies and natural disasters on Canadians.
“Central Lake Ontario Conservation (CLOCA) is at the front-lines of protecting communities from the devastating effects of floods. Within the CLOCA watershed, 2,510 buildings are flood prone within 113 flood damage centers. As we have seen across Ontario this spring, flood events have the potential to wreak havoc on communities and their residents. The Government of Canada is proud to have helped fund the CLOCA watershed flood risk assessment, so that CLOCA has the most updated, scientific analysis to prioritize flood mitigation projects and measures.”
– Jennifer O’Connell, Member of Parliament for Pickering-Uxbridge
“Keeping the people of Ontario safe is a priority our government takes seriously. Flood mitigation projects play an important role in protecting communities and reducing damage caused by extreme weather events. We are pleased to help Central Lake Ontario Conservation access funds through the National Disaster Mitigation Program.”
– Steve Clark, Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
“Accurate floodplain mapping is an important tool for land use planning and emergency management. This knowledge of flood hazards helps guide land use away from high-risk areas, protecting watershed residents and their property.”
– Chris Darling, Chief Administrative Officer, Central Lake Ontario Conservation
The NDMP reflects an investment of $200 million over five years, of which $183 million is available for cost-shared, merit-based projects with provinces and territories to reduce the impacts of natural disasters.
Since the launch of the NDMP in 2015, the NDMP has approved funding for 363 projects across Canada that are helping to build safer, more resilient communities.
Through the NDMP, the Government of Canada is helping to address rising flood risks and costs and build the foundation for informed investments that could reduce, or even negate, the effects of flood events.
In addition to investing in provincial and territorial flood mitigation projects through the NDMP, the Government of Canada:
- is investing in public awareness activities and risk and resiliency tools like the Federal Flood Mapping Guidelines, to help all levels of government to make informed decisions around flood mitigation;
- has created a new $2 billion federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund to support the infrastructure required to deal with the effects of a changing climate; and
- is integrating climate resilience into the National Building Code and conducting research to factor climate resilience into the design of buildings.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, insured damage in 2016 topped $4.9 billion – passing the previous annual record of $3.2 billion set in 2013-and that the annual economic cost of disasters around the world has increased five-fold since the 1980s. Flooding damage has accounted for 80 per cent of federal disaster assistance payments over the past 20 years.
Studies have demonstrated that every dollar invested in mitigation generates a savings of six dollars in future disaster costs.