Ontario introduces government-led flood preparation funding

Published: October 15, 2018

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The Ontario Government has announced a financial partnership with the federal government to provide funding for flood preparedness. In a statement last week, the provincial announced the money will help protect Ontario against flood risk.

$180,000 in federal funding was announced by Liberal MP for Sudbury Paul Lefebvre, who was representing the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Funds will be issued under the National Disaster Mitigation Program.

Further funding of $180,000 is being added by Conservation Sudbury through municipal tax reserves. The government says the funding will be provided over two years. Funds will help create floodplains maps to Junction Creek watershed. The maps will be developed by Conservation Sudbury and will update the existing 38-year old maps of the area.

Flood Maps

A statement from Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada says the maps will be “a valuable tool to help guide land-use policies and decisions.”

“Weather-related natural disasters are getting more severe, more frequent, more damaging and more expensive.  This is a threat not only to the safety of our communities, but to our economic stability. The Government of Canada is determined to reduce these risks in partnership with provinces and territories,” said Lefebvre in a statement.

“This funding provided by Public Safety Canada enables Conservation Sudbury to update mapping that is nearly 40 years old. Much has changed in the Junction Creek watershed since the floodplain was first delineated. New technologies will be applied to recent data collected by the City of Greater Sudbury and the Province of Ontario that will allow dynamic models to be produced based on complete, highly-accurate mapping,” added Conservation Sudbury chairperson Lin Gibson.

Updated flood maps are developed by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning. Dynamic maps allow researchers to better understand the risk of floods for a given area. Climate change has made major weather events more frequent and severe, while the risk of flood has expanded. Creating modern maps to replace decades old maps can help authorities better mitigate overland flooding.