Southwestern Ontario residents to be better protected against extreme weather events and flooding

News release

Strathroy, Ontario, August 27, 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 erosion and flooding is critical to keeping Canadian families safe, protecting local businesses and supporting a strong economy and the middle class.

Kate Young, Member of Parliament for London West and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Science and Sport and to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, along with Brian McDougall, General Manager of the St. Clair Conservation Authority, today announced funding for a disaster mitigation initiative along Lake Huron and the St. Clair River.

The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority will rehabilitate the shoreline at select locations along Lake Huron and the St. Clair River. In recent years, high water levels, winds, ice jams and significant rain has contributed to several shoreline failures, which threatens existing infrastructure like roads, schools and parks. The project will rehabilitate five structural and natural assets, helping to protect the shorelines from erosion while safeguarding residents of Sarnia and St. Clair from the dangers of high water levels and deteriorating retaining walls.

Once completed, this project will protect critical infrastructure, improve the safety and quality of life of 50,000 residents along the waterfront, and reduce the number of people directly affected and the local economic losses by approximately 80%. This project is expected to generate $7.5 in long-term savings on recovery and replacement costs for every $1 invested. Ultimately, this project will strengthen Sarnia and St. Clair’s resilience to extreme weather events and flooding while reducing potential economic and environmental impacts.

The Government of Canada is investing $8 million through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, and the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority is contributing $12.3 million.

Quotes

“Taking concrete steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change is essential to ensuring a prosperous future for our kids and grandkids. By investing in this important disaster mitigation project, we are helping better protect residents of Sarnia and St. Clair against flooding and shoreline erosion while also greatly reducing the costs of recovery following extreme weather incidents.”

Kate Young, 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

“This funding will allow us to continue fulfilling our mandate of protecting life and property from flooding and erosion. By rehabilitating severely impacted infrastructure along Lake Huron and the St. Clair River, the financial, environmental and emotional impacts associated with flooding and erosion events will be greatly reduced for our shoreline communities. We are very grateful to the Government of Canada for their generous support.”

Brian McDougall, General Manager, St. Clair Region Conservation Authority


“A better future environmentally tomorrow for Sarnia Lambton thanks to this significant infrastructure announcement by the Federal Government and the St. Clair Conservation Authority today.”

His Worship Mike Bradley, Mayor of the City of Sarnia

“This is very exciting news for St. Clair Township. The St. Clair River runs through the entire length of our township, and there are countless erosion problems due to high water levels. Funding is essential for us to address erosion concerns and to protect our infrastructure, which includes roads, parks, campgrounds, boat launches and more.”

Steve Miller, Deputy Mayor, Township of St. Clair

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

Contacts

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

Donna Blue
Manager of Communications
St. Clair Conservation Authority
519-245-3710 ext. 219
dblue@scrca.on.ca

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