Government of Canada announces Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir project to move forward

News release

Calgary, Alberta, July 20, 2021—Infrastructure failures from natural hazards and extreme weather events can result in threats to health and safety, interruptions in essential services, significant disruptions in economic activity, and high costs for recovery and replacement. The Government of Canada is making important investments to construct, rehabilitate and expand critical public infrastructure susceptible to these risks.

An increasing number of Canadian communities from coast to coast to coast have experienced significant weather-related disasters triggered by climate change. These events are growing in frequency and impact, and pose a serious threat to Canadian communities.

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced that the Springbank off-stream reservoir project is moving forward. Funded under the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF), this project will protect local residents from flooding, and help local communities adapt to climate change. His Worship Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of the City of Calgary was also in attendance.

The project will see the construction of an off-stream storage reservoir in Rocky View County to divert extreme flood flow from the Elbow River to a reservoir until the flood peak has passed. The reservoir will help protect thousands of Albertans, as well as their homes, schools and local businesses, from future floods.

The Government of Canada committed $168.5 million in federal funding for this project in March 2019. Before construction could begin, it was vital that a thorough, science based environmental assessment be conducted, that Indigenous groups be consulted, and that legally-binding conditions be established to safeguard the environment. With the environmental assessment and the contribution agreement signed, the project can now move forward.

Budget 2021 provided the DMAF with an additional $1.375 billion to support projects such as wildfire mitigation activities, rehabilitation of storm water systems, and restoration of wetlands and shorelines. Through the DMAF, the Government of Canada is making sure Canadian communities are better able to withstand damage caused by climate change and extreme weather events, which is why Minister McKenna launched the next intake for the DMAF today. These investments help keep Canadians safe, protect local businesses, and support strong local economies.

The Government of Canada is committed to getting funding to communities when they need it the most in a way that achieves triple benefits: grow our economy and create jobs; tackle climate change; and build a more resilient and inclusive country for all Canadians.

Quotes

“Canadians are seeing and feeling the effects of intensifying weather events that are associated with climate change. Climate change requires us to stop polluting Earth’s atmosphere, but also to adapt to the impacts we’ve already baked in. Today, we’re advancing almost $1.4 billion toward a new round of Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund projects, while moving forward with the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir project as part of the initial DMAF allocation. Together, we can build a country that is resilient and inclusive, while growing our economy and creating good jobs for Canadians.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“The Government of Alberta worked diligently to complete the regulatory requirements and is pleased that the federal review resulted in the approval of SR1. We also appreciate the federal funding contribution of approximately 39% of SR1’s total cost. Our joint commitment to this project will reduce the risk of economic and personal impacts from flooding on the Elbow River. Alberta Transportation will continue to work to advance SR1 through to completion.”

The Honourable Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Transportation of Alberta

“The Springbank off-Stream Reservoir offers enormous protection to our city. It is an investment in Calgarians safety and security. It shows a commitment to our citizens, and protects the heart of our city, protecting Canada’s economic engine for years to come.” 

Naheed K. Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary

Quick facts

  • The DMAF was launched in 2018 as 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. Budget 2021 provided the DMAF with an additional $1.375 billion over 12 years.

  • For application timelines, please see Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund: Applications process. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to, provinces and territories; municipal and regional governments; Indigenous groups including band councils, First Nations, Inuit or Metis, for-profit organizations as well as Canadian public or not-for-profit post-secondary institutions that partner with another eligible recipient.

  • The DMAF is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada 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.

  • To date, over $1.9 billion has been announced through the DMAF for 69 large-scale infrastructure projects that will help protect communities across the country from the threats of climate change. 

  • To support Canadians and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure stream has been added to the over $33 billion Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to help fund pandemic-resilient infrastructure. Existing program streams have also been adapted to include more eligible project categories. 

  • Through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure stream, over $3 billion is available to provide provinces and territories with added flexibility to fund quick-start, short term projects, including active transportation infrastructure, such as parks, trails, foot bridges, bike lanes and multi-use paths, and disaster mitigation and adaptation projects, including natural infrastructure and tree planting.

  • Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Infrastructure Canada has approved more than 3,600 projects, representing more than $9.9 billion in federal investments, under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

Associated links

Contacts

Emelyana Titarenko
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
873-355-9576
Emelyana.Titarenko@infc.gc.ca

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