(With files by Brody Langager-MyPGNow)
BC’s 2022 provincial budget is adding more funding towards flood and fire mitigation, response, and relief efforts.
More than $2.1 billion will help people recover from last year’s floods and fires, and protect against future disasters.
Response and recovery efforts towards flooding will see $1.5 billion over the next three years, which includes $1.1 billion in support contingencies for people, businesses and communities.
“Recent climate-related disasters, such as floods, heat waves and wildfires, have been the most challenging on record for people in British Columbia and have demonstrated the need to significantly change how we do things. We are making it possible for people and communities to recovery and become more resilient in the future,” said Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth.
Flood recovery costs are being raised from $36 million to $436 million.
There was also $5 billion in federal funding that will help offset response and recovery efforts.
$145 million is going towards transforming the BC Wildfire Service to a year round mode, adding capacity and equipment for a proactive service.
An additional $98 million will come over the next three years for fire prevention and maintain road access.
$90 million will also be going to the Firesmart BC program.
“I have seen first-hand the devastating impacts of wildfires on communities across B.C. and had the privilege of meeting many of the dedicated staff who work on the front lines, season after season,” said Minister of Forests Katrine Conroy.
“The significant investments we are making to create a year-round BC Wildfire Service and shift from a reactive to proactive approach will help people and communities better prepare for and recover from wildfires in the future.”
Other funding supports will be going to a range of emergency support systems like:
- $110 million for the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund
- $10 million is available for emergency mitigation and preparedness for First Nations communities.
- $83 million will go to the Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy
The province said they are also aiming to expand it’s climate monitoring networks, as well as build up the River Forecast Centre.