Canada helps protect Surrey from disastrous impacts of flooding

From: Infrastructure Canada

Surrey, British Columbia, May 24, 2019-Now more than ever, communities need help adapting to the frequent and intensifying weather events caused by climate change. Reducing the impact of natural disasters such as flooding is critical to keeping Canadian families safe, protecting local businesses and supporting a strong economy and the middle class.

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced funding to support a number of initiatives to safeguard the cities of Surrey and Delta and the Semiahmoo First Nation from the potentially disastrous impacts of coastal flooding.

The investment of over $76 million through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund will allow the regional governments, in partnership with the Semiahmoo First Nation, to implement a comprehensive flood adaptation strategy that will increase resilience for over 125,000 residents who are at high risk of coastal flooding, and provide significant long-term savings on recovery and replacement costs.

Key components of the project include replacing the aging Nicomekl and Serpentine sea dams, upgrading 7.5 kilometres of the Colebrook dyke, establishing a riverfront park on the Nicomekl River with natural flood-attenuating features, installing 1.5 new kilometres of storm sewers, upgrading two pump stations and building two new “living dykes”.

Other work will be carried out including innovative nature based solutions developed through collaboration such as foreshore enhancements in the City of Delta, upgrades to Mud Bay Park and building a new park on the Nicomekl River to help control and disperse flood waters, while safeguarding the health of the Pacific Flyway and marine environment. These natural areas link with transportation upgrades such as raising 152nd Street to make it more flood resilient, and replacing the bridges over the Nicomekl River and the Little Campbell River.

Once complete, these projects will significantly increase the region’s resiliency to flooding and provide residents with peace of mind knowing their community can continue to thrive through any situation.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support this comprehensive strategy to build flood resilience on the Semihmoo First Nation and in the communities of Surrey and Delta. Investing today will reduce future recovery costs and prevent critical infrastructure failures. These investments create good, well-paying middle class jobs, and set the stage for long-term economic growth that benefits everyone.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility on behalf of The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Extreme weather is becoming more severe, more frequent, more damaging and more expensive because of climate change. By investing in the infrastructure that protects our neighbourhoods, businesses, and families, we are building communities that can withstand future natural disasters and thrive for generations to come.”

The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety

“Our government is committed to investing in projects that support a more strategic and sustainable approach to planning, building and maintaining public infrastructure in response to the impacts of climate change. Working together with our regional and First Nations partners, we are finding ways to keep people and their properties safe. This flood adaptation strategy will increase resilience and help build for the future.”

Gordie Hogg, Member of Parliament for South Surrey-White Rock

“With 20% of Surrey’s land within the coastal floodplain area, it is vital that we take action now. I want to thank the Federal Government for the significant investment they have made today in helping us fight climate change. As a result of this new funding, the City of Surrey along with all of our partners will be able to increase and enhance the work we are doing to protect our coastal areas from flooding and other natural hazards.

Mayor Doug McCallum, City of Surrey

Quick facts

  • The Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) is a $2-billion, 10-year program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts.

  • DMAF is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, which is providing more than $180 billion over 12 years for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and rural and northern communities.

  • Investing in green infrastructure that helps communities cope with the intensifying effects of climate change is an integral part of Canada’s transition to a more resilient, low-carbon economy, which is among the commitments made under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

  • Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class, is the federal government’s plan to create more well-paying jobs, put home ownership within reach for more Canadians, help working people get the training they need to succeed, support seniors and lay the foundation for national pharmacare.

  • With many municipalities across Canada facing serious infrastructure deficits, Budget 2019 includes a one-time top-up of $2.2 billion to the federal Gas Tax Fund to help address short-term priorities in municipalities and First Nations communities.

  • Budget 2019 builds on the Investing in Canada Plan, under which the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in community infrastructure across the country.

/Public Release. View in full here.