Thirty-six B.C. communities, including First Nations and local governments, will share in $1.9 million in provincial funding to help prepare for extreme heat and keep people safe.
In the upper Fraser Valley, a handful of communities are receiving funding. For example, the city of Mission will get $30,000 for an extreme heat project. Sema:th First Nation in Abbotsford will get $30,000 for an extreme heat adaptation and evaluation project. Kanaka Bar Indian Band, near Lytton, will get $30,000 for an extreme heat adaptation plan. Leq’a:mel First Nation, near Deroche, will also get $30,000 for an extreme heat resilience and capacity building project.
The funding from the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) is intended to help communities implement extreme heat projects and strategies, such as extreme heat risk mapping, risk assessments, extreme heat response plans and climate adaptation planning.
“Given the ongoing effects of climate change in B.C. and around the world, we need to ensure that we’re prepared to respond to extreme heat events now and in the future,” said Mike Farnworth, as minister of public safety, solicitor general and minister responsible for Emergency Management BC. “This new funding will be critical in supporting communities to develop their own heat plans and to help protect people, the local environment and local economy from the risks posed by extreme heat.”
MLAs Pam Alexis and Bob D’Eith say that the new funding will help the City of Mission and Leq’a:mel First Nation prepare for extreme heat events and keep people safe during future emergencies.
“The heat came a little later this summer, but it was certainly a reminder of how suddenly it can affect us and how important it is that we are prepared for extreme weather. This funding will help local governments and officials prepare to support their communities whenever extreme heat occurs,” said Pam Alexis, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission.
“Providing the city of Mission with these funds for their extreme heat project will make sure that we are even more prepared next year for extreme heat events. We want everyone to be able to stay cool and safe during extreme temperatures, and local governments know the needs of their communities best,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission.
The Community Emergency Preparedness Fund is part of the province’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy, and complements the BC Heat Alert and Response System, launched earlier this year. The $189-million fund is administered through the Union of BC Municipalities and supports programs that strengthen the resilience of First Nations and local governments in responding to and preparing for natural disasters and climate change.
“We know that heat events will continue to happen more often, so we are taking action to help our communities get prepared and have the necessary resources to deal with these extreme situations,” said Jennifer Rice, parliamentary secretary for emergency preparedness. “Preparing for and adapting to extreme heat is now a fundamental part of public safety in B.C., and this funding will help ensure communities across the province are climate ready.”
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