Canada helps protect southern Alberta communities from future flooding

News release

Calgary, 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 the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir project.

In June 2013, communities in southern Alberta experienced devastating effects of flooding caused by heavy rainfall. To better protect these communities against future flooding events brought on by climate change, the Government of Canada is supporting the construction of an off-stream storage reservoir in Rocky View County to divert extreme flood flow from the Elbow River to a reservoir where it would be contained temporarily until the flood peak has passed.

Once completed, these measures will help protect thousands of people and their homes, schools and local businesses, and ensure that southern Alberta communities remain safe for decades to come.

The Government of Canada is contributing $168.5 million 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 the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir project, we are helping Alberta get ahead of the problem, and protect Calgarians and communities to the south from the heavy personal and economic costs of increasingly threatening weather events.”

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

“Our government is committed to building the Springbank Dam to protect Calgarians and businesses from a devastating flood like the one we saw in 2013. I am happy to see this significant investment from the federal government as we continue to move forward with this critical project.”

The Honourable Brian Mason, Alberta’s Minister of Transportation

Quick facts

  • This project is currently undergoing a federal environmental assessment process led by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the Aboriginal consultation process is underway. Construction will not start until the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a decision statement and until Canada is satisfied that the legal duty to consult Aboriginal peoples has been met.

  • 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:

    • more than $1.5 billion for the Calgary Green Line Light Rail Transit Project to connect new areas of the city to convenient, accessible transit;
    • over $29 million for the construction of a new wastewater transmission system to provide residents of Lacombe, Blackfalds and Lacombe County with reliable services; and
    • more than $47 million for the expansion of Fort Edmonton Park to boost tourism and create dynamic new cultural and learning spaces.

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

Cabinet Communications
Ministry of Transportation
Government of Alberta

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
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