Canada helps protect communities in the Bow Valley from debris flooding

News release

Canmore, Alberta, March 13, 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 and middle class.

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, today announced funding for an important project to protect against debris flooding in the Bow Valley.

In June 2013, extreme rain and snow melt resulted in a large debris flood that caused millions of dollars in damages to communities in the Bow Valley, closed major transportation routes, and damaged local residences. This project involves reinforcing flood mitigation structures along several steep mountain creeks in the Bow Valley to reduce the risks of debris flooding, and re-vegetation and bio-engineering work to control erosion problems.

Once complete, residents of Canmore and the Municipal District of Bighorn will have peace of mind knowing that measures have been taken to reduce the risks and damage caused by debris flows and debris floods, protecting local residences, businesses and transportation routes.

The Government of Canada is contributing $13,760,000 to this project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.


“Taking concrete steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change is more and more essential to ensuring a safe prosperous future for our kids and grandkids. By investing in this important flood protection project, we are helping the communities of the Bow Valley get ahead of the problem. This important work will equip the community with the infrastructure it needs to better protect residents, become more resilient to future flooding events and greatly reduce the costs of recovery following extreme weather incidents.”

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

“I am very pleased the Government of Canada has recognized the magnitude of the large scale flood reduction projects required by our two municipalities to reduce the hazards posed by steep creeks in our communities.  Reducing the risk to loss of life, infrastructure, and property is our top priority. Having the federal government alongside with funding will make our communities safer and more resilient in the face of future extreme weather events occurring in the Bow Valley.”

Dene Cooper, Reeve, Municipal District of Bighorn

“Canmore has been cooperating with the MD of Bighorn since the 2013 floods to build steep creek resiliency throughout the Bow Valley and we look forward to continuing to work together to protect existing infrastructure and development.“

Vi Sandford, Deputy Mayor of Canmore

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.

  • Since 2016, the Government  has invested in projects that will support the creation of good middle class jobs in Alberta, including:

Associated links


Ann-Clara Vaillancourt
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Adam Robertson
Communications Advisor
Town of Canmore

Robert Ellis
Chief Administrative Officer
Municipal District of Bighorn
403-673-3611 (ext. 229)

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
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