Canada helps protect Victoria residents from impacts of coastal natural hazards 

News release

Victoria, BC, May 21, 2019—Now more than ever, communities need help adapting to the frequent and intensifying weather events caused by climate change and other natural disasters. Reducing the impact of floods, earthquakes and storm surges is critical to keeping Canadian families safe, protecting local businesses and supporting a strong economy and middle class.

Today, Marc Miller, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced funding for a project to mitigate the effects of natural disasters in Victoria.

The project involves renewing the city’s aging underground infrastructure to make it more resilient to floods from coastal storms, spring thaws and rising sea levels, which are all intensifying as a result of climate change. With its location along an active seismic zone, the infrastructure will also be reinforced to withstand earthquakes.

This project builds on work previously done by the City to identify the vulnerabilities of their existing infrastructure and put measures in place to address these risks. Once complete, it is expected to better protect more than 86,000 residents from the effects of coastal natural hazards and reduce the number of families and businesses who go without essential services at these times by 95%.

The Government of Canada is contributing more than $15.3 million to this project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund. 

Quotes

“By investing in the Climate and Seismic Resilient Underground Infrastructure project, we are helping ensure Victoria residents and businesses are protected from the heavy personal and economic costs of increasing natural disasters. The project will also create good middle-class jobs and support a strong economy, paving the way for a safe prosperous future for our kids and grandkids.”

Marc Miller, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, on behalf of 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

“Victoria faces a unique set of risks related to earthquakes and a changing climate. Our coastal city is blessed with heritage and historic buildings, but includes vulnerable infrastructure and utilities along an active seismic zone.  We need to invest our limited funds wisely to prepare and protect against damage from earthquakes, sea level rise, increased flooding and storms.  Federal programs like this provide essential funds so cities can take action to build a more resilient, thriving community.”

Her Worship Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria

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 federal government’s plan to create more well-paying jobs, put home ownership within reach for 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 includes a one-time top-up of $2.2 billion to the federal Gas Tax Fund to help address short-term priorities in municipalities and First Nations communities.

Associated links

Contacts

Ann-Clara Vaillancourt
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
613-697-3778
ann-clara.vaillancourt@canada.ca

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Email: infc.media.infc@canada.ca
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