Flooding is Canada’s costliest and most frequent natural disaster. Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, has announced CAD2.36 million in federal funding to the Province of Ontario to support work on eight projects under the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP) to better plan for and protect against the effects of flooding.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is leading delivery on these eight projects. In collaboration with partners, including the Region of Peel, Region of York, City of Brampton and City of Toronto, the TRCA is contributing CAD2.36 million to implement these projects.
Combined, these projects will help protect 43,774 residents in surrounding communities from the dangers of flooding.
The Minister said that because of climate change, weather-related natural disasters are getting more severe,more frequent, more damaging and more expensive. “We’re determined to reduce the impacts of natural disasters on Canadians by building safer and more resilient communities. The projects announced today will help Toronto and its surrounding municipalities better prepare for and respond to floods.”
Steve Clark, Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing said flood mitigation projects play an important role in protecting communities and reducing damage caused by extreme weather events. And John MacKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority said reducing the risks from flooding in the region is one of TRCA’s main responsibilities.
The NDMP reflects an investment of CAD200 million over five years, of which CAD183 million is available for cost-shared, merit-based projects with provinces and territories to reduce the impacts of natural disasters. The Government of Canada cost-shares up to 50 percent of eligible expenses for provincial projects and 75 percent of eligible expenses for territorial projects. Provincial and territorial authorities may collaborate with, and redistribute funding to eligible entities such as municipal or other local governments.
Since its launch in 2015, the NDMP has approved funding for 273 projects across Canada that are helping to build safer, more resilient communities. In addition to investing in provincial and territorial flood mitigation projects through the NDMP, the Government of Canada has created a new CAD2 billion federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund to support the infrastructure required to deal with the effects of a changing climate; and is integrating climate resilience into the National Building Code and conducting research to factor climate resilience into the design of buildings.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, insured damage in 2016 topped CAD4.9 billion – passing the previous annual record of CAD3.2 billion set in 2013—and that the annual economic cost of disasters around the world has increased five-fold since the 1980s. Flooding damage has accounted for 80 per cent federal disaster assistance payments over the past 20 years.
The Canadian government says studies have demonstrated that every dollar invested in mitigation generates savings of six dollars in future disaster costs.