Government of Canada provides disaster recovery funding to British Columbia for 2021 flood

News release

February 23, 2023
Abbotsford, British Columbia

In November 2021, British Columbia experienced a once-in-a-century atmospheric river storm that caused severe flooding, landslides, and mudslides across interior and coastal regions of the province.

The flooding led to the evacuation of approximately 18,000 people across the province, with extensive damage to homes, bridges, roads, including every major highway connecting the lower mainland to the rest of Canada, and widespread damage to the agricultural industry.

Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, announced a second advanced payment of $556,955,880 to the Province of British Columbia through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) program to assist with recovery costs associated with the 2021 storm. This payment brings the total amount of federal payments to the Province of British Columbia under the DFAA to over $1 billion for the November 2021 floods.

Eligible expenses under the DFAA include, but are not limited to, evacuation operations, restoring public works and infrastructure to their pre-disaster condition, as well as replacing or repairing basic, essential personal property of individuals, small businesses, and farmsteads.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadians and helping communities prepare for the realities of increased climate-related risks and disasters, while working to increase our resiliency. 


“The Government of Canada has been working closely with the province, municipalities and First Nations to recover and rebuild following the devastating flooding that took place in November 2021. This payment is another important step in building back from this event in a way that better protects British Columbians.”

- The Honourable Bill Blair, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

"The devastating impacts of the 2021 atmospheric river event continue to affect people and communities across British Columbia. We've made strides in our efforts to recover and strengthen resilience, but we know there's still more to do. The path forward is through collaboration with First Nations and local, provincial and federal governments. We're thankful to the federal government for its support, which will allow us to continue our work supporting communities as they rebuild and recover."

- The Honourable Bowinn Ma, British Columbia’s Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness

“The City of Abbotsford is grateful to the Government of Canada for their significant investment toward ensuring our communities have the funding they need to recover from the impacts of this unprecedented extreme weather event. More than a year later, repair efforts remain part of our daily lives in Abbotsford, and there is still much work that needs to be done to ensure our families, farmers and businesses are safe and provincial food system is secure. This funding is an important piece of our overall recovery, resiliency and protection efforts.”

- Ross Siemens, Mayor of the City of Abbotsford

Quick facts

  • In the event of a large-scale disaster, the Government of Canada provides financial assistance through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) program to provinces and territories, at their request, for eligible disaster response and recovery expenses that exceed what they could be reasonably expected to bear on their own. Provinces and territories provide financial support to impacted communities based on the criteria of their own provincial disaster assistance program’s recovery plans and policies.

  • Under the DFAA, provinces and territories have six months following the end of a disaster event to request financial assistance from the federal government. Once an event has been designated under the DFAA, provinces and territories have up to five years to submit their final claim. 

  • In the 2021 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada provisioned $5 billion for the federal share of recovery costs associated with recent extreme weather events in British Columbia. 

  • In addition to support offered under the DFAA, over 700 Canadian Armed Forces personnel were deployed to support evacuation planning and coordination of relief efforts. 

  • Canadians right across the country showed their generosity by donating $30 million to relief efforts through the Canadian Red Cross, which was matched by Federal and Provincial Governments, bringing the total amount raised to $90 million.

  • Up to $228 million in federal-provincial government support was made available to help B.C. farmers who suffered extraordinary damages during the devastating floods. The 2021 Canada-BC Flood Recovery Program for Food Security, delivered by the Government of British Columbia, leveraged the federal government’s AgriRecovery Framework and Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) program

  • The Government of Canada is investing over $63.8 million in the Flood Mapping and Hazard Identification Program (FHIMP). In partnership with provincial and territorial governments, the FHIMP aims to complete flood hazard maps of higher risk areas in Canada and make this flood hazard information accessible. 

Associated links


Joanna Kanga
Press Secretary
Office of the President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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