Canada funds flood mitigation project in Sussex, New Brunswick

From: Public Safety Canada

May 13, 2019

Sussex, New Brunswick

Flooding is Canada’s costliest and most frequent natural disaster. Communities are looking for solutions to mitigate the costs and damages caused by flooding to businesses and residences. Each year, communities across the province recover from the spring freshet. In communities such as the Town of Sussex, flooding is an issue during not only the spring freshet, but also when the snow melts during the winter.

Alaina Lockhart, Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal, on behalf of the Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced $637,500 in federal funding to New Brunswick under the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP) to better plan for and prevent the effects of flooding in Sussex.

This investment comes at a time where all levels of government need to be collaborating to find sustainable solutions to reoccurring flooding and natural disasters. As floods are becoming increasingly common like we have seen with back to back flooding of the St. John River basin, communities such as the Town of Sussex are demonstrating mitigation strategies to adapt to these weather-related events.

This funding will support the design and construction of a flood berm and storm water pumping station to reduce the risk of surface flooding from the Kennebecasis River in the Gateway Mall area, the Town of Sussex’s major commercial hub. Flood berms are man-made barriers made of earth, gravel, rock or other materials, with sloping sides and a flat top that is used as a flood proofing measure to protect against high water. The project began in 2018 and has been extended until March 31, 2020.

The Government of Canada cost-shares up to 50 per cent of eligible expenses for projects submitted by provinces projects and 75 per cent of eligible expenses for projects submitted by territories under the NDMP. For this project, the Federal Government is contributing $637,500 and the Town of Sussex is contributing the remaining $637,500 for the project that was submitted through the Province of New Brunswick in 2018.

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.

“We have recently seen the positive impact of the federal response to flooding in New Brunswick and our Government is supporting communities to prevent flooding as well. Flooding is a threat to our safety, our economic stability and the livelihood of our residents. The Government of Canada, in partnership with the Province of New Brunswick, is making meaningful investments in our communities to reduce the impacts of flooding and increase our overall disaster resiliency. I commend the Town of Sussex for taking action to reduce both the risk and the impact of flood events in Sussex’s major commercial area and look forward to being a meaningful partner for similar projects throughout Fundy Royal.”

– Alaina Lockhart, Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal, on behalf of the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“It’s encouraging to see communities like Sussex taking proactive steps to mitigate the effects of flooding. This is one example of how, together, governments are working to plan for, prepare for and respond to extreme weather events. This kind of initiative is essential to minimize damage and keep people safe. This is a great example of resilience beginning at the local level and we’re happy to play a role in seeing these projects through. The Government of New Brunswick is pleased to help communities submit mitigation proposals under the National Disaster Mitigation Program.”

– Bruce Northrup, Member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick for Sussex-Fundy-St. Martins, on behalf of the Honourable Carl Urquhart, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

“I, along with the residents of Sussex, look forward to the beginning of Flood Mitigation Planning. I believe the flooding experienced in our region is the single most important issue faced by our residents and surrounding communities. I believe there is a need to begin the process of introducing flood mitigation improvements and to explore the development of a Master Plan to attempt to achieve a potential flood solution. There are technical difficulties and difficult approvals for any plan, but a solution is worthy of consideration and to begin the planning and development of the Master Plan / solution. This Gateway Mall project is an integral part of our Master Planning and a critical project to set the foundation for our future mitigation efforts and to secure a vital commercial core in Sussex from flooding.”

– Marc Thorne, Mayor of Sussex

Quick facts

  • 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. Funding is available for risk assessments, flood mapping, mitigation planning and small scale mitigation projects such as storm culverts.

  • 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 federal disaster assistance payments over the past 20 years.

  • Studies have demonstrated that when structural and non-structural investments are implemented in concert, the result is a 6:1 return on investment.

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