IBC praises BC and federal government $50 million flood mitigation fund

Published: July 3, 2019

Updated: August 1, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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The Government of British Columbia recently announced a joint investment alongside the federal government to provide funds towards flood mitigation infrastructure in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. In response, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has circulated a press release praising the decision.

B.C.’s government and the federal government are collaborating with the city of Grand Forks to invest around $50 million into strengthening natural infrastructure to protect against floods. A breakdown of the investment has been published showing confirmation the Government of British Columbia will invest $28.9 million into the fund. The federal government will add $19.9 million, while Grand Forks will put in $1 million that comes from the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.

“As our climate changes, the intensity and frequency of severe weathers events – like floods – have been on the rise. The community of Grand Forks has seen firsthand the devastating impact this can bring and the need to improve Canada’s resilience to the new weather reality we face,” said IBC Pacific vice-president Aaron Sutherland.

“IBC and its members applaud this investment in natural infrastructure and other upgrades that will help communities in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary build resilience for years to come.”

In the release, Sutherland added insured damage in Canada reached $2 billion in 2018, making it the fourth costliest year in history. While numerous factors played a part in the losses, flooding is becoming a common catastrophic event, and among the most damaging.

IBC has been a leader in pushing for a National Action Plan on Flooding and used the press release to re-emphasize its importance. Such a plan would raise public awareness and create more education around the risks of flooding. Furthermore, a national plan would help homeowners relocate away from high risk flood plains and create more flood insurance opportunities for people in those areas.