Tag Archives: Province

Government Comes Through Big With Flood Funding Support

UPDATED – See below
Today (June 26, 2019) Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness Jennifer Rice was back in town with an announcement. You can watch and listen to the whole thing below but here is the spoiler: We are getting pretty much what we asked for – $53 Million!!

UPDATE (June 27,2019):
The City of Grand Forks has created a FAQ page in response to questions people have asked as a result of this announcement. Follow the link above to find some answers to some of your questions.

The text of the press release is below

For immediate release

Canada and BC work in partnership to help protect residents and businesses of Grand Forks from disastrous impacts of flooding

Grand Forks, British Columbia, June 26, 2019-Now more than ever, communities need help adapting to the frequent and intensifying weather events caused by climate change. Reducing the impact of natural disasters such as flooding is critical to keeping Canadian families safe, protecting local businesses and supporting a strong economy.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Jennifer Rice, B.C.’s Parliamentary Secretary Responsible for Emergency Preparedness, announced nearly $50 million for an important flood mitigation project in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary community of Grand Forks.

In May 2018, spring thaws caused flooding along the Granby and Kettle rivers, devastating residents, businesses and households. By reclaiming and repurposing property in the City’s most flood-prone neighbourhoods, moving residents to a safer area, and constructing new flood mitigation systems to better manage flood waters, the community will be able to better protect its residents and businesses from future flooding.

The project also involves reinforcing approximately 1,300 metres of river bank along the Johnson Flats channel, re-establishing a natural flood plain in North Ruckle and building new retention ponds in South Ruckle. A total of more than 2.3 kilometres of road and trail dykes will be constructed or reinforced in strategic areas to manage flood waters within the City and by the railway tracks.

The City of Grand Forks estimates that once complete, the project will increase the flood resilience of over 800 residents during spring thaws and other extreme weather events. The project is also expected to reduce the number of residents who go without essential services during flooding by 45 per cent, and will provide long-term savings in recovery and replacement costs.

The Government of Canada is investing over $19.9 million, the Government of British Columbia is providing more than $28.9 million, and the City of Grand Forks is contributing $1 million to this project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.


“These measures to mitigate flooding and take people out of harm’s way in Grand Forks will go a long way in ensuring the devastating impacts of 2018 are not felt again. This project will help protect families and their properties while also creating jobs and laying the groundwork for a strong sustainable economy and future for the community.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Extreme weather is becoming more severe, more frequent, more damaging and more expensive because of climate change. By investing in the infrastructure that protects our neighbourhoods, businesses, and families, we are building communities that can withstand future natural disasters and thrive for generations to come.”

The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety

“We know that preparedness and mitigation is key to reducing the impact of natural disasters on our communities and improving recovery outcomes. That’s why I’m pleased our government is providing $28.9 million in natural and structural flood mitigation works as part of our continued support of the Canada community and the people of Grand Forks in their efforts to recover from and rebuild after the devastating floods. In partnership with the community of Grand Forks, we are also providing an additional $2.6 million toward a $3.1 million flood protection work project in downtown Grand Forks. ”

The Honourable Mike Farnworth, British Columbia Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

“As Grand Forks continues to recover, this flood mitigation funding will help the community find a safer path forward. The Province has been working alongside the local government from the start of this emergency, and we will continue to stand with Grand Forks into the future.”

Jennifer Rice, British Columbia Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness

“Over the last year, the Boundary Flood Recovery team has worked tirelessly to secure funding for flood recovery and risk reduction for future floods. The partnerships we forged and built to accomplish this have been vital and extremely helpful, particularly with our provincial and federal government partners. Special thanks to those Provincial representatives that went above and beyond their regular duties to help build these communities back better, such as Parliamentary Secretary Jennifer Rice and her dedication of time and energy to help make our communities safe and to support our vulnerable populations.”

Roly Russell, Chair of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary

“We’ve come together to support the flood affected residents of Grand Forks after the flooding in 2018. Despite the challenges, the resilience of our people has shown that we can and will recover. Thank you to the senior levels of government that continue to support our community with this new funding .”

Brian Taylor, Mayor of the City of Grand Forks

Quick facts

The Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) is a $2-billion, 10-year program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts.

DMAF is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, which is providing more than $180 billion over 12 years for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and rural and northern communities.

Investing in green infrastructure that helps communities cope with the intensifying effects of climate change is an integral part of Canada’s transition to a more resilient, low-carbon economy, which is among the commitments made under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class, is the government’s plan to create more good well­paying jobs, put homeownership within reach of more Canadians, help working people get the training they need to succeed, support seniors, and lay the foundation for national pharmacare.

With many municipalities across Canada facing serious infrastructure deficits, Budget 2019 proposes a one-time transfer of $2.2 billion through the federal Gas Tax Fund to address short­term priorities in municipalities and First Nations communities.

Associated links

Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/dmaf-faac/index-eng.html

Investing in Canada: Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/icp-publication-pic-eng.htmI

Federal infrastructure investments in British Columbia: https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/investments-2002­investissements/bc-eng.html

Investing in Canada plan project map: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/gmap-gcarte/index-eng.html

Canada Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class: https://www.budget.gc.ca/2019/home-accueil-en.html

Province Supporting Flood Affected Small Business Says Rice

Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness Jennifer Rice came to Grand Forks the morning of Dec 3, 2018. She came bearing bags of cash (figuratively speaking of course) for small businesses in the Boundary that were affected by the spring flood.

How much cash?
$2.9 Million

How much for you?
If you have a business affected by the flood and have 50 or less employees and “some other factors” (?)  then that translates into possibly as much as $18,500. Which sounds close to what businesses in areas affected by Wildfire got last summer. More on all this after the video.

All this money is being funneled through the Red Cross. At 9 minutes into the video they point you to redcross.ca/gethelp which shows you a selection of current projects. Then you have to find the section for Grand Forks and click on it and that takes you to British Columbia Floods 2018 and on that page you’ll find a link to the Support to Small Businesses and Not-for-Profit Organizations.

Watch and listen and learn.


The Flood that hit us last spring was of historic proportion. And not something the province has experience dealing with . . . which added to our pain and suffering because help was hamstrung by data acquisition, reporting, analyzing and deliberating so that a plan could be implemented.

The disaster that the province has to deal with on a regular, yearly, basis is wildfire. So they have plans for how to deal with people and businesses experiencing wildfire emergencies and their needs both immediate and in the aftermath. You can see that in the Red Cross page “Support to Small Businesses, Not-for-Profit Organizations and First Nations Cultural Livelihoods” created for that purpose. Now the wildfire problems for the year are behind us and the program is not taking any more applications. But to see how much businesses got you can look at the FAQ where it says that they get up to $18,500. Coincidentally the same number announced in the program today.

Before you read on I must say that I do not really intend to bite the hand that helps (you seem like a nice person Secretary Rice and this isn’t personal) . . . but I really feel the need to point out some aspects of reality.

What happens with a Wild Fire?

As far as I know businesses evacuated by wildfire were considered to be off premises for up to two weeks. That’s 2 weeks of lost income at a minimum.

Now if their property was scorched it’s a fire loss / rebuild / restock project. And insurance should help out. Maybe even DFA.

But for businesses not burned the total down time could be as short as the evacuation time. 2 weeks. And then they get to reopen and resume business as best they can.

Let’s look at what happens with a Flood.

Many businesses in Grand Forks evacuated by flooding are still out of their premises 6 months later. Downtown businesses as well. 6 months.

Last month when a couple of them reopened I asked them how much revenue they estimated they had lost being evacuated. One said $100,000. Their neighbour said $500,000.

Until today’s announcement all the businesses have received so far is $1,500. Almost no businesses qualified for DFA. Many got screwed by their insurance providers.

For the past few months one of the messages from the recovery team is that most of the pleas for help to higher levels of government result in requests for ‘more data’. More data so that those trying to analyse the complex problem can come up with a workable plan. So we sent them more data. And then more data.

And now that the temperature is dipping below zero and snow is beginning to fall and people (and businesses) are still  out of their premises making do and decisions need to be made the province sends a parliamentary secretary down with a plan that sure looks like a cookie cutter copy of what they were doing months ago for the wildfire affected entities . . . so much for all that data.

This means that the Province has taken 6 months to decide to give us what they were giving to wildfire victims 6 months ago. After they have been told again and again (we hope) what the reality of the situation is out here in flood disaster world and how it differs from Wildfire disaster world (which we are candidates for on any hot, dry, summer)

So really . . . WTF were they doing for the past 6 months?

I really don’t want to be a crass a-hole and I am grateful for whatever help they can give but when I stand back and look at this I’m left wondering what I’m missing here?
IF I’m missing something then I unreservedly apologize to Secretary Rice and the Province.

But . . . if that’s the extent of the provincial support flood victims will be getting in the future I would strongly suggest potential flood target communities start putting their own fund together. It shouldn’t be too hard or take too long to make it larger than what the province is offering if you just keep feeding it. But that’s just my crazy take on things.


Province Declares State of Emergency

Aug 14 – A province wide State Of Emergency has been declared due to the WildFire situation.

As reported in  Global News

As of Aug. 14, there were 566 wildfires burning in B.C., with 29 evacuation orders affecting approximately 3,050 people (1,521 properties), in addition to 48 evacuation alerts impacting approximately 18,720 people (9,359 properties).

This state of emergency is for 14 days – it can be extended it needed.


Province Will Cover Tipping Fees For Flood Damaged Materials

From Director Russell’s Facebook post

YAY! After a ridiculous number of phone calls and conversations, we did it! Thanks, Mike Farnworth, John Horgan, EMBC, and all the very hard work of our team at the EOC, City and RDKB staff folks both. Phew. See the RDKB press release for more details. Here are the details from their release:

Given the extraordinary circumstances and wide-spread flooding damages to individuals, families and small businesses as a result of the recent flooding in Grand Forks, the Province will cover tipping fees related to disposal of flood damaged materials.

Background details:

· The Province and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary have agreed to an “aggregate billing process” to streamline the entire transaction process and not place an onerous up-front cash burden on individuals, families and small businesses.

· People can bring their flood debris to a local waste management facility. Facility staff will verify that the waste is flood impacted debris and confirm origin of waste, as well as document the weight and volume. Facilities will compile the transactions and send an invoice for the total amount to the Province for reimbursement.

· It’s important to note, that the fees are not being waived. Applicable fees will be consolidated by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and then submitted to the province for reimbursement.

· We remain committed to supporting and working with the Regional District and the community and people of Grand Forks throughout the recovery process.

Those residents impacted by Boundary flood won’t pay tipping fees. @EmergencyInfoBC #BCFlood #RDKB #2018Freshet #community pic.twitter.com/djeO5u110A

— RDKB Emergency Info (@RDKB_Emergency) May 26, 2018