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Flood Mitigation Projects

January 24, 2012
Vancouver, British Columbia

Notes for an address by

The Honourable Lynne Yelich
Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

Bundled Funding Announcement for Building Canada Fund - Communities Component and Provincial - Territorial Base Fund Building Canada Plan for Flood Mitigation Projects

Corresponding Document: News Release | Photo Gallery

Check Against Delivery

Thank you, [Bruce] – Mayor Bruce Banman.

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be here today in the heart of Vancouver’s waterfront at the scenic Canada Place.

Before we get started, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge my fellow speakers today: Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations;And, from Abbotsford, Mayor Bruce Banman.

I would also like to acknowledge all the Mayors from municipalities across British Columbia and other dignitaries who have made the trip to Vancouver for this important announcement. Thank you for giving me the opportunity here to share the excellent work our Government is doing to protect and strengthen our communities.

Implementing flood mitigation measures across the British Columbia is crucial, and our Government recognizes this. It is even more important in light of many communities having experienced flooding over the past few years. Flood mitigation initiatives help communities in areas with medium to high levels of flood risk address existing flood concerns, while taking proactive steps to better withstand future floods.

I am proud to say that we have worked effectively with our provincial and municipal partners to listen to the needs and unique challenges of communities across British Columbia. And that is why, today, alongside Minister Thomson, I would like to provide some good news for people in communities that face flooding risks.

The Government of Canada, together with the Province of British Columbia, is providing over $36 million in funding towards 22 flood mitigation initiatives across this province.

Initiatives range in scope from the construction of stormwater diversion works in Summerland, to building an additional flood box at the Hammersley Pump Station in Agassiz, to upgrading an existing pump station in Richmond.

These flood mitigation investments are being delivered through the Building Canada Fund - Communities Component, and the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund, two programs that aim to meet our infrastructure needs while creating jobs and supporting economic growth. Residents of 20 communities across British Columbia affected by floods can look forward to improvements that will help protect their homes, farms and businesses from flooding.

Our Government’s investments will help build strong and safe communities – improving the lives of families across this province. I look forward to seeing the work and benefits that will result from today’s investments in province-wide flood mitigation projects.

Through investments such as this, our Government’s ‘Building Canada Plan’ provides municipalities with predictable, long-term, stable funding for over seven years. With reliable funding in place, municipalities are working toward their short and long-term infrastructure needs.

Our Government recognizes that partnerships with provincial and municipal governments are essential in order to maximize the investment in public infrastructure renewal. It is precisely these partnerships that will allow us to effectively and appropriately resolve the flood concerns of BC families in affected areas , and this is reason for all of us to be very proud.

Our Government believes that infrastructure initiatives – like the 22 flood mitigation projects announced today – play an important role in developing our communities and strengthening our economy. These flood mitigation projects are a perfect example of what can be achieved when governments and residents work together towards common goals – new jobs, healthier communities and a stronger economy.

Jobs and growth will remain our Government’s top priority to build a stronger economy for the West. Because a stronger West means a stronger Canada.

Thank you. Merci beaucoup