Federal support for 18 Alberta flood mitigation projects
Flooding is Canada’s costliest and most frequent natural disaster. Today, Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues, on behalf of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced $8,717,650 in federal funding to support work on 18 projects under the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP).
The Province of Alberta will be providing $5,278,150 in provincial funding for these projects. Additionally, some municipalities partnered with Alberta to provide $214,500 in support of these projects.
Of the 18 projects announced today:
- Seven will provide funding for the completion of risk assessments to identify flood hazards, potential impacts, and community and infrastructure vulnerabilities;
- Seven will help communities identify specific impacts of a flood event on structures and people through the development of flood maps;
- Two will help communities plan to mitigate against future flooding events and;
- Two will help fund non-structural mitigation measures that will enhance flood preparedness in Alberta.
Since the creation of the NDMP in 2015, the Government of Canada has invested over $9.1 million in federal funding and the Province of Alberta has invested over $5.7 million in provincial funding for 21 NDMP projects in Alberta. The work on three of these projects has since been completed.
Of the three completed projects:
- Two helped create risk assessments using the Provincial Flood Damage Assessment Tool for the flood-vulnerable communities of Okotoks, Canmore, and Whitecourt. This data will provide these towns, and the over 50,000 residents who live in them, with comprehensive flood risks assessments, which will aid in future mitigation and planning efforts.
- One created flood mapping products in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, including Fort McMurray and the community of Draper. These products include new flood inundation maps and a flood risk report, which can be used to inform planning decisions and emergency responses.
“Weather-related natural disasters are getting more severe, more frequent, more damaging and more expensive. This is a threat not only to the safety of our communities, but to our economic stability. Through the National Disaster Mitigation Program, the Government of Canada is determined to reduce these risks in partnership with provinces and territories. The investments announced today are crucial in helping Alberta better prepare for and respond to flood risks.”
— Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues, on behalf of the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“The 2013 floods affected many communities in Alberta. Flood mapping and community risk assessment projects co-funded by the province and the federal government will help build safer communities over the long term. Our ability to leverage federal funding allows our provincial investment in flood resilience to go even further, including provincial funding for flood mitigation work in communities across the province.”
– The Honourable Shannon Phillips, Minister of Alberta Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office
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 273 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.