B.C. has announced $180 million in new funds to help communities and First Nations prepare for natural disasters and emergencies related to climate change.
Premier David Eby said the government is injecting an additional $180 million to the community emergency preparedness fund, created in 2017 to help municipalities and First Nations mitigate the effects of natural disasters, such as drought, destructive wildfires and 2021’s powerful storm that triggered mudslides and flooding across the province.
“It’s an increasing reality,” said Eby during a news conference in Victoria on Tuesday. “These climate disasters are becoming more frequent and are increasing in severity as climate change persists.”
To date, the province has put $369 million into the fund, which has supported more than 1,300 projects, including a new dike in Merritt, public cooling infrastructure in Victoria, and planning for a tsunami evacuation structure in Tofino.
Eby also announced the creation of ClimateReadyBC, billed as a centralized online hub that provides tools and resources for communities to help them get ready for natural disasters.
The website compiles information that was previously dispersed over different government websites, and includes hazard and mapping tools, risk data and resources, and information on available funding.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” said Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness Bowinn Ma, whose fledging ministry was created last December as part of Eby’s first cabinet. As government works to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, “we also know we have to be prepared for the impacts that have already arrived and will continue to hit B.C.,” she added.
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