BC’s Lower Mainland demand more federal action on flood preparedness

Residents want government to intensify preparations

BC’s Lower Mainland demand more federal action on flood preparedness

Catastrophe & Flood

By Mika Pangilinan

Residents of British Columbia’s Lower Mainland want to see increased federal efforts in preparing for overland flooding.

This is according to a survey from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), which polled over 800 participants in 10 federally contested ridings.

The survey found that 59% of respondents believe the federal government should intensify its preparations for overland flooding. Additionally, 74% said preparing for future flooding events should be a key focus for the federal government.

The majority of respondents also indicated their support for the introduction of a national flood insurance program, with 67% expressing their endorsement of such an initiative.

The 2023 federal budget included plans for a low-cost flood insurance program, but details regarding its implementation have been slow.

Craig Stewart, IBC’s vice president for climate change and federal issues, noted in a statement that the timely implementation of the program is crucial for high-risk areas like the Lower Mainland in BC.

“With recent catastrophic events, such as the record-breaking 2021 BC floods that caused over $675 million in insured damage, insurers are ready to move quickly in partnership with governments to help protect those at highest risk of flood damage,” Stewart said.

He further stressed the need for immediate action, especially after another atmospheric river event affecting the Lower Mainland this week.

“IBC understands why so many BC residents support the national flood insurance program,” Stewart added. “It’s time for the federal government to act on this cost-effective solution and announce program details in the 2024 federal budget.”

Findings of a similar survey were shared by IBC last week. This poll revealed that 71% of Atlantic Canadians support implementing the national flood insurance program, while 74% think the federal government should prioritize flood protection.

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