Canada helps Thunder Bay build climate change resilience by reducing the impact of flooding

News release

Thunder Bay, Ontario, May 31, 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 and wildfires is critical to keeping Canadian families safe, protecting local businesses and supporting a strong economy and the middle class.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North and Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Rainy River; and His Worship Bill Mauro, Mayor of Thunder Bay, today announced funding for a project mitigating extreme flooding events, and enhancing stormwater infrastructure and management in the City of Thunder Bay.

This project will see upgrades to the Boulevard Lake Dam to increase its ability to handle flood waters. Other improvements in the city include separating sewage from stormwater systems, and increasing the capacity of six storm main collectors.

Once completed, this project will help protect over 102,000 Thunder Bay residents from flooding during extreme weather events. This project will reduce the number of residents without essential services, and local economic losses. It is also expected to save $15.30 for every $1 invested in long-term savings on recovery and replacement cost.

The Government of Canada is investing over $13.2 million in this project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund. The City of Thunder Bay is contributing over $19.8 million to the project.


“Taking concrete steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change is more and more essential to ensuring a safe prosperous future for our families and businesses. This important project will help protect Thunder Bay residents and their essential services against flooding, and greatly reduce the costs of property losses following extreme weather events.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North and Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“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’ve seen the property damage many communities have had to endure as a result of extreme weather. The flood mitigation project for the City of Thunder Bay announced today will help to keep our residents and businesses safe and spare them the costs of recovery and rebuilding after storms.”

Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Rainy River

“We appreciate the Government of Canada’s commitment in supporting Thunder Bay’s goal in becoming a more climate-resilient city. The funding for these important infrastructure projects will allow us to be better prepared and adaptable to the new and unforeseen realities of climate change, as well as increase our sustainability.”

His Worship Bill Mauro, Mayor of Thunder Bay

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 well-paying 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 short-term priorities in municipalities and First Nations communities.

Associated links


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

Amanda Nason
Communications Officer, Infrastructure & Operations
City of Thunder Bay

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
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