Government of Canada makes $175 million payment to B.C. for wildfire recovery

News Release

January 4, 2018
Ottawa, Ontario

As many still deal with hardships caused by the wildfires in British Columbia (B.C.) this past summer, the Government of Canada remains committed to support the recovery of the people of B.C.

The Government of Canada is providing an advance payment of $175 million through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) to the province. This money will help with the costs associated with long-term recovery and rebuilding in affected communities.

The Government of Canada also issued a payment of $38,595,900 to the Canadian Red Cross in October, delivering on its commitment to make a donation to the Red Cross in support of those affected by the B.C. wildfires. In addition to assisting communities during evacuations, this funding is being used to support evacuees in the long process of recovery, such as to ease re-entry into their homes and communities and to re-establish their livelihoods.

The Government of Canada works closely with provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to assist Canadians when disasters strike.

Quotes

“Although the wildfires are extinguished, a long, hard recovery process continues for many as they struggle with lost homes and businesses. The funding and support announced today will help those affected by the wildfires rebuild their homes and communities and get their lives back to normal. The Government of Canada continues to stand with B.C. as it works to recover from the wildfires.”

-  The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“Last spring and summer, more than 1,200 wildfires burned more hectares of land than at any other time in British-Columbia’s history. The Government of Canada continues to work together with the province and our partners to ensure that the communities affected by these fires fully recover.”

-  The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement
Chair of the Ad Hoc Cabinet Committee on Federal Recovery Efforts for 2017 BC Wildfires

“We’re grateful to the Federal Government for stepping up to the plate to advance these funds to help British Columbians as they recover and begin the long process of rebuilding their homes and businesses. Our Federal partners are showing that by putting people first, their priorities align with ours.”

-     Mike Farnworth, British Columbia Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

“Recovering from any disaster is not easy, and it can take months and years for those affected to feel at home again. With this support from the Government of Canada, the Red Cross is able to continue to provide people, families and communities with the help they need to feel safe, connected and resilient for the future.”

-   Conrad Sauvé, President and CEO, Canadian Red Cross

Quick Facts

  • In the event of a large scale disaster, Public Safety Canada provides cost-shared financial assistance through the DFAA to provinces and territories for costs incurred as a result of major natural disasters above what they could reasonably be expected to bear on their own. 

  • Under the DFAA, a province has up to five years after the approval of the Order in Council to request final payment.  The processing of these requests for reimbursement begins immediately following receipt of the required documentation of provincial/territorial expenditures and a review by federal auditors.  Advance payments or interim payments can also be requested within the five-year timeframe.

  • On July 14, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the creation of the Ad Hoc Cabinet Committee on Federal Recovery Efforts for 2017 B.C. Wildfires to coordinate federal efforts to help the many communities affected by the wildfires in B.C. Throughout the B.C. wildfires response, this committee worked closely with the Government of British Columbia and First Nations communities and leaders. The federal government has committed to conducting a review of the response to the fires, in full partnership with the Government of British Columbia and B.C. First Nations, to improve the emergency management regime as well as identify preventative measures that can be undertaken ahead of future fires.

  • The Government of Canada has provided a broad range of support to B.C. wildfire efforts, notably the deployment of the Canadian Armed Forces; support of up to $20 million, cost-shared with the province, to assist agricultural producers with the extraordinary recovery costs incurred from the wildfires; the introduction of emergency tax relief measures; and close collaboration with First Nation communities and Emergency Management B.C. to develop recovery plans and to reimburse eligible response and recovery costs.

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Contacts

Scott Bardsley
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
613-998-5681
scott.bardsley@canada.ca

Ashley Michnowski
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough
819-997-5421
ashley.michnowski@canada.ca

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada
613-991-0657
media@ps-sp.gc.ca


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