Kitchener, Ontario, May 22, 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 and wildfires is critical to keeping Canadian families safe, protecting local businesses and supporting a strong economy and the middle class.
The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener today announced funding for flood protection initiatives in Kitchener.
The project includes building and upgrading key components of the city’s stormwater management system to help protect residents from the effects of significant rain storms. It will add stormwater drainage controls in some neighbourhoods and redesign a natural channel to help manage heavy rainfalls. The project will also upgrade the Bridgeport Dyke and replace a section of the popular Walter Bean Grand River Trail.
Once completed, this project will improve protection for over 11,500 Kitchener-Waterloo region residents against flooding, reducing the number of people directly affected by 75%. The project is expected to reduce local economic losses by 80%.
The Government of Canada is investing over $49.9 million in this project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund. The City of Kitchener is contributing over $72 million, with additional funding from the Grand River Conservation Authority.
“Taking concrete steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change is essential to ensuring a prosperous future for our kids and grandkids. By investing in this important flood protection project, we are helping better protect Kitchener residents against flooding and greatly reduce the costs of recovery following extreme weather incidents.”
The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, 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
“As a leader amongst Canadian municipalities in stormwater management since 2001, the City of Kitchener understands that the growing impacts of climate change pose a serious risk to our city’s infrastructure and threatens the delivery of essential services that our residents rely on. This significant investment from the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund will help ensure our critical infrastructure can withstand these severe weather events and protect Kitchener residents. I applaud our federal government partners for working with us as we tackle climate change together.”
Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener
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 government’s plan to create more good well-paying jobs, put homeownership within reach of 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 proposes a one-time transfer of $2.2 billion through the federal Gas Tax Fund to address short-term priorities in municipalities and First Nations communities.