Government pledges $2 billion to mitigate natural disasters

Published: May 24, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The federal government is ramping up disaster mitigation investment with a 10-year program to pump $2 billion into projects that help communities protect themselves from natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and wildfire.

Called the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF), the money will help infrastructure projects that cost a minimum of $20 million. Among the example projects include wetland restorations, setback levees, diversion channels, and wildfire barriers.

In a press release on Thursday, Infrastructure Canada says it will “support changing and reinforcing existing public infrastructure, as well as building new public infrastructure, including natural infrastructure, like wetlands, or built infrastructure, dams or dykes, to help address climate risks and protect communities from natural disasters.”

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) offered its opinion on the government committing to more climate change investments after the 2018 budget. “IBC welcomes the Government of Canada’s continued commitment to addressing out changing climate,” Craig Stewart, vice president of federal affairs with IBC said. “Severe weather is already costing Canadian taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually. By making smart investments in mitigation and adaptation, and by introducing stronger environmental frameworks, Canada is on track to limit future damage while still addressing immediate and current climate challenges.”

Applications to DMAF include:

  • Provinces and territories;
  • Municipal and regional governments;
  • Canadian public or not-for-profit post-secondary institutions that partner with a Canadian municipality; and
  • Band councils and First Nation, Inuit or Métis governments.

“Now more than ever, communities across Canada need to take measures to reduce the potential impacts of natural disasters related to climate change,” said Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Amarjeet Sohi. “Here in Alberta and across the country, we are experiencing unprecedented extreme weather and feeling its great personal, social and economic effects.”