Government of Canada invests $54 million in six public safety projects across Northern Saskatchewan
April 23, 2019
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
Community safety – particularly in rural and remote regions facing unique challenges – is a top priority of the Government of Canada.
Today, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, announced funding for six community safety initiatives in Northern Saskatchewan, dealing with both crime prevention and natural disaster mitigation.
First, a total of up to $1.2 million is being provided through the National Crime Prevention Strategy to the Northern Village of Ile-à-la Crosse, Pelican Lake First Nation, and Witchekan Lake First Nation to help strengthen their local capacity to cope more effectively with youth crime.
Each of these three communities will have access to $400,000 over the coming two years to assess their vulnerability to such threats as youth gangs, youth violence, sex crimes, addictions, mental health issues, bullying and cyber-bullying; to prepare response plans to direct and mentor young people toward safer and more healthy life choices (including outdoor/on-the-land experiences); and to muster resources, expertise, networks and facilities to implement those plans. Such community-based work will provide a better factual understanding of local crime issues, which will contribute to stronger crime prevention programs nationally.
Secondly, Minister Goodale also announced more than $40.2 million from the Government of Canada to two wildfire mitigation projects in Saskatchewan.
One, in partnership with the Saskatchewan Power Corporation, is designed to reduce the frequency and intensity of fires in and around the electrical power distribution system across northern Saskatchewan. Federal funding of $19,802,475 will help SaskPower upgrade its distribution network and clear or maintain up to 10,000 hectares of forested area, thus mitigating the risk. SaskPower will make a matching investment.
The other, with the provincial Environment Ministry, will help protect 85 far-flung communities from wildfire threats. Federal funding of $20,493,825 will support 141 fuel mitigation initiatives across 1,392 hectares of provincial Crown land and 1,072 hectares of municipal land. These measures will lower the risk of fires getting started, help in the safe and effective management of outbreaks, reduce property damage, and protect lives. Since this project involves work to be conducted on municipal, provincial and Indigenous assets, the remaining eligible costs will be funded by the province ($8,261,550), SaskPower ($5,542,350) and municipal governments ($1,566,675).
Finally, Minister Goodale and Fred Bradshaw, MLA for Carrot River Valley on behalf of the Honourable Lori Carr, Minister of Highways and Infrastructure, announced funding for major improvements to Highway 55 east of Carrot River. This highway is an important connector for Indigenous communities like Red Earth and Shoal Lake Cree Nations, as well as regional businesses and the forest industry. It is in poor condition and structurally deficient in a flood-prone area, resulting in delays, detours, potential isolation and public safety risks. Federal funding of $12.5 million will support upgrading and rehabilitation work along more than 50 kilometres of Highway 55 to make it more resilient in the face of chronic seasonal flooding. The Saskatchewan government will make a matching investment.
The federal funding to mitigate wildfire and flooding risks comes from the $2 billion Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF), which is part of the federal government’s 10 year infrastructure investment plan – specifically aimed at responding to the consequences of climate change. The most common effects of climate change in Saskatchewan are more frequent, more severe, and damaging weather events, including storms and floods, droughts, and wildfires, which have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in costs and losses in this past decade alone. Successful DMAF projects are selected periodically across the country based on merit and need.
“Prevention is at the heart of creating safer communities. By investing in projects to prevent crime and mitigate the impacts of climate change, we are building community capacity and resilience, and we are better positioning communities to better withstand, combat and recover from future natural disasters.”
- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“Our government is committed to protecting our critical infrastructure. This is especially true on the Highway 55 corridor where there is a lack of available detour routes. Improvements to Highway 55 will also boost our economy, especially in the forestry sector.”
- Fred Bradshaw, MLA for Carrot River Valley on behalf of the Honourable Lori Carr, Minister of Highways and Infrastructure
The Government of Canada has made up to $94 million available over five years through the National Crime Prevention Strategy to develop inclusive, diverse and culturally adapted crime prevention projects across Canada. These projects will use new and innovative approaches to crime prevention that seek to expand partnerships, engage more Indigenous communities, and include more experts in addressing the gaps and challenges in reaching vulnerable communities.
The Government of Canada and Saskatchewan Power Corporation will each contribute $19,802,475 toward the electrical distribution circuit project.
The Government of Canada is contributing $20,493,825 towards the fuel mitigation project.
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.
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