BC city announces plan to apply to $1 billion federal disaster program

It missed the previous application period for federal assistance

BC city announces plan to apply to $1 billion federal disaster program

Catastrophe & Flood

By Lyle Adriano

Just over a year since it was hit with severe flooding, a city in British Columbia is looking to apply for the federal government’s disaster assistance fund to support its flood prevention projects.

In the fall of 2021, Merritt, BC was devastated by flooding so significant, that an evacuation order for all 7,100 residents was issued. Half a year later, the city had hatched a $165 million plan to apply for federal assistance but found at that time that applications were closed.

“The one thing that steamed my cookies a little was we had nowhere to send our application. And there was no light at the end of the tunnel,” Merritt Mayor Mike Goetz told Vancouver Sun.

But earlier this week, the federal government opened the third round of applications to the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF), with Ottawa earmarking a total of $1 billion in funding to support cities, provinces, territories, and First Nations with their climate resilience projects.

Goetz noted that it has been 14 months since the 2021 flooding but has welcomed the opening of applications again. The mayor also expressed the city’s intent to send in its resilience plan, which includes strengthening and moving dikes back to create a larger flood channel for the Coldwater River.

Under the DMAF program, cities are eligible for up to 40% of funding for a project.

The city of Peterborough, ON had similarly applied for federal funding to improve its flood mitigation measures. More than $2.1 million in federal support will go to the city’s $5.44 million project to increase the capacity of the Armour Road sanitary sewer, finish storm sewer upgrades, and restore the Curtis Creek channel.

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