Infrastructure failures from natural hazards and extreme weather events can result in threats to health and safety, interruptions in essential services, significant disruptions in economic activity, and high costs for recovery and replacement. The Government of Canada is making important investments to construct, rehabilitate and expand critical public infrastructure susceptible to these risks.
An increasing number of Canadian communities from coast to coast to coast have experienced significant weather-related disasters triggered by climate change. These events are growing in frequency and impact, and pose a serious threat to Canadian communities.
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, launched a new intake for the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF). Communities across Canada are invited to submit projects that will protect and strengthen their communities by increasing their resilience to the socio-economic, cultural and environmental impacts of natural hazards and extreme weather events when considering current and potential future climate change impacts.
The Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund received an additional $1.375 billion in Budget 2021 to support projects such as wildfire mitigation activities, rehabilitation of storm water systems, and restoration of wetlands and shorelines. Under this program, $670 million is being dedicated to new, small-scale projects between $1 million and $20 million in total eligible costs. The remaining funding envelope is allocated to large-scale projects above $20 million in total eligible costs. In addition, a minimum of $138 million of the total funding envelope is being dedicated to Indigenous recipients. Together, this funding will help small, rural, remote, northern, and Indigenous communities adapt to climate change impacts.
Through DMAF, the Government of Canada is making sure Canadian communities are better able to withstand damage caused by climate change and extreme weather events. These investments help keep Canadians safe, protect local businesses, and support strong local economies.
The Government of Canada is committed to getting funding to communities when they need it the most in a way that achieves triple benefits: grow our economy and create jobs; tackle climate change; and build a more resilient and inclusive country for all Canadians.
Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir project to move forward
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced that the Springbank off-stream reservoir project is moving forward. Funded under the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF), this project will protect local residents from flooding, and help local communities adapt to climate change. His Worship Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of the City of Calgary was also in attendance.
The project will see the construction of an off-stream storage reservoir in Rocky View County to divert extreme flood flow from the Elbow River to a reservoir until the flood peak has passed. The reservoir will help protect thousands of Albertans, as well as their homes, schools and local businesses, from future floods.
The Government of Canada committed $168.5 million in federal funding for this project in March 2019. Before construction could begin, it was vital that a thorough, science based environmental assessment be conducted, that Indigenous groups be consulted, and that legally-binding conditions be established to safeguard the environment. With the environmental assessment and the contribution agreement signed, the project can now move forward.