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Funding reduces risk of climate change-related disaster in Richmond

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:56 PST, Fri February 3, 2023

Last Updated: 2:58 PST, Fri February 3, 2023

People in Richmond will benefit from provincial funding to help reduce risks from future disasters related to natural hazards and climate change.

“The climate crisis will continue to increase the risk of natural disasters in British Columbia over the years ahead. Local governments and First Nations are important partners in ensuring that communities are prepared for what will come and were taking action to support them in this critical work,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness. “The projects enabled by this funding will make a big difference for First Nations and communities throughout B.C. in their efforts to keep lives and livelihoods safe from potential disasters.”

Richmond–Steveston MLA Kelly Greene said: “As we begin to feel the impacts of climate change more and more, it’s important for us to invest in projects in communities like Richmond that will mitigate the impacts of climate change. This work to plan and upgrade Richmond’s flood protection systems is important so we are prepared for whatever comes our way and residents can feel safe.”

The City of Richmond is receiving $2,285,000 in funding for flood risk hydrodynamic modelling, a flood protection system emergency reconstruction strategy, and a drainage pump station climate adaptation and resilience upgrade. 

“As climate change brings more environmental challenges to B.C., families in Richmond are in need of protection from extreme weather events,” said Richmond South Centre MLA Henry Yao. “By investing in projects like flood risk planning and adaptation, people will know that their provincial government is prioritizing their safety and livelihood.”

A total of $23.4 million from the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) will support 49 First Nations and local communities to better prepare for, mitigate, and respond to climate-related emergencies such as floods and extreme temperatures.

“With the unpredictability of weather, having plans and infrastructure in place to keep people safe is essential,” said Richmond–Queensborough MLA Aman Singh. “Our government remains dedicated to building resilient communities, ensuring that both existing and new infrastructure are built to last.”

The Disaster Risk Reduction - Climate Adaptation stream under the CEPF supports the province’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy. The CEPF is administered through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and funds projects that strengthen the resilience of First Nations and local governments in responding to and preparing for natural disasters and climate change.

Funding may be used for:

• Risk mapping, risk assessments, and planning, such as the development of a hazard map

• Land-use planning, such as amendments to relevant plans, bylaws, or policies

• Purchasing equipment, such as monitoring equipment

• Delivering community education

• Small-scale structural projects

“Recent extreme weather events have reinforced how important it is for communities to have systems and infrastructure in place to protect their residents, businesses, and property,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Richmond has a long history of investment in flood protection. This $2.2 million in funding will ensure our city is even more prepared to respond in an emergency through robust mitigation planning and pump-station upgrades.”

CEPF is a suite of programs divided into several funding streams, which includes public notification and evacuation planning, emergency support services, and extreme heat risk mapping, assessment, and planning.

The next intake for the Disaster Risk Reduction - Climate Adaptation stream closes on Feb. 24.

Budget 2022 provides a historic investment of $110 million toward CEPF, for a total of $189 million. Since 2017, First Nations and local governments have been approved for more than $100 million through CEPF for more than 1,100 projects that help communities mitigate and prepare for disasters and climate-related emergencies.

For information about the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, visit the Union of British Columbia Municipalities website:

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