The federal government has earmarked $8.7 million to help Alberta communities mitigate disasters such as flooding and drought resilience.
In a news release issued by the Alberta government Dec. 17, funds were announced through the National Disaster Mitigation Program and will be used for 18 projects. Some of them are new initiatives and others replace and update current emergency response plans.
The province is contributing more than $5 million to the projects as part of the cost-sharing agreement with the federal government, said the release.
Projects in Drumheller, Medicine Hat, Siksika Nation, Red Deer, Canmore, Whitecourt, Priddis and Fort McMurray, as well as others, will receive funding.
Alberta Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips said the funds for flood mapping and community risk assessments will “ensure Alberta is better prepared for severe weather events in the future.”
Edmonton Centre MP Randy Boissonnault, speaking on behalf of the federal public safety minister, said funding for emergency preparedness strategies would help address the soaring costs of natural disasters.
“Provincial and federal funding will also be used to assess the potential for debris floods near Canmore, storm-water vulnerabilities in Calgary and flood risks in smaller communities such as Manning, Stettler, Lacombe and the Municipal District of Crowsnest Pass,” the release said.
“Projects to improve forecasting and warning systems and improve access and interaction with provincial flood-inundation maps also received funding.”
Most of the projects involve flood mitigation in some way, shape or form, whether it is hazard assessment or flood hazard mapping.