Feds fund flood prevention

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August, 2012 – A new national program designed to reduce the impact of natural disasters is providing money to provinces that invest in flood-mitigation strategies.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec will initially receive funding from the program, which is a three-year, $99.2-million commitment from the federal government first announced in the spring budget.

“Following the unprecedented flooding in the spring and summer of 2011, our government committed in the economic action plan 2012 to support the proactive steps taken by provinces to mitigate expected flood damages, through the contribution program,” says federal public safety minister Vic Toews.

Toews says the three provinces will be reimbursed for half the cost of flood prevention measures they took last year in advance of severe flooding that forced thousands of people from their homes. Funded on a 50-50 basis with provinces, the federal program applies to dikes, culverts, flood-plain mapping and risk assessments.

“Mitigation is the most effective way to protect lives, property and the environment, and reduce the economic and societal costs of disasters,” says Toews. “These are the measures that are taken before an emergency happens.”

In 2011, spring floods occurred in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and New Brunswick. Flooding in Thunder Bay and Montreal earlier this spring resulted in insured damage of $200 million.