VANCOUVER, BC, – Following devastating floods and wildfires in the province last year, British Columbians are living the effects of extreme weather driven by climate change. In partnership with the province of British Columbia and Indigenous communities, the Government of Canada is making historic investments to keep people safe when disaster hits, and ensure communities are built to cope with extreme weather.
Today, following the fifth and final meeting of the Committee of British Columbia and Federal Ministers on Disaster Response and Climate Resilience, the Honourable Bill Blair, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, announced advance payments of over $870 million to the Government of British Columbia through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) to support flood, landslide and storm recovery efforts in the province. This is in addition to the $207 million in support for wildfire recovery efforts that was announced in June.
The Committee, co-chaired by Minister Blair and Minister Mike Farnworth, British Columbia’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, discussed the important progress that has been made to-date. Recognizing the disproportionate impact that natural disasters have on Indigenous communities, the Committee’s work was enhanced by the contributions of the First Nations Leadership Council and the valuable discussions about the importance of incorporating traditional knowledge into emergency management. This knowledge is critical to Canada’s emergency response and readiness framework, and will continue to be central to informing this work moving forward.
In addition to the DFAA payments, the governments of Canada and British Columbia and the First Nations Leadership Council are working to build a trilateral agreement on emergency management. This agreement will strengthen First Nations’ capacity to respond to and recover from future climate-related disasters.
- The Committee of British Columbia and Federal Ministers on Disaster Response and Climate Resilience, which includes representatives from the First Nations Leadership Council, was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan in November 2021 to ensure those impacted by last year’s severe weather have the supports and resources they need, and to build back in a way that better protects British Columbians from future climate events. The fifth and final meeting of the Committee took place on July 18, 2022.
- The Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) program provides financial assistance directly to provincial and territorial governments when response and recovery costs from natural disasters exceed what they could be expected to bear on their own. Provincial and territorial governments design, develop, and deliver disaster financial assistance, deciding the amounts and types of assistance that will be provided to those that have experienced losses. Since the launch of the DFAA program in 1970, it has contributed over $6.5 billion to provinces and territories, over 63 per cent of which was paid out in the last 10 years.