Lower Fraser Floodplain Coalition: Budget 2024 fails to deliver on flood resilience

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Lower Fraser Floodplains Coalition is sorely disappointed in the lack of funding for flood resilience in B.C. Budget 2024.

There is nothing to show for all this government’s talk of taking climate change seriously or for all the strategies and plans the province has been drafting and crafting for two years now. All that we see in this budget amounts to a dismal set of generalized commitments for climate change adaptation and lip service to the needs of floodplain communities to create flood resilience. The commitment to upgrade Barrowtown Pump Station is an example of building back without providing adequate funding for planning toward long-term sustainability and resilience that should include co-benefits of flood protection, food production, and fish flows.

“British Columbia (and Canada) must take their heads out of the mud and meaningfully invest in the long-term resilience for B.C. By doing so, lives, property, and natural resources would be much safer in times of climate crisis,” said Sto:lo Tribal Chief Tyrone McNeil, Chair of the Emergency Planning Secretariat. “The new BC Emergency Disaster Management Act commits the BC government to investing proactively into reducing risks and enhancing the economic, social, health and cultural resilience of society and the environment, and the government needs to get moving. We know more floods are coming.”

Members of the LFFC have been working in good faith with the Province since the atmospheric river and floods of 2021. We are still waiting for the release of the BC Flood Strategy and a funding allocation sufficient to address the needs of regions across the province.

“Money that we spend now to protect homes from flooding will be a fraction of the money we would need to spend to restore or rebuild houses after the next extreme flood. Why are we stuck in this loop of always having to wait for disaster before funding can become available? Being proactive would not only save vast amounts of money, it would also save people from the terrible experience of being flooded out.” – Anna Warwick Sears, Executive Director, Okanagan Basin Water Board

“The momentum is here. Local governments are eager for support and committed to working collaboratively. It is time for the Provincial and Federal governments to bring the long-term, stable, non-competitive funding that will allow us to work together for a resilient future.” – Jason Lum, Chair of the FVRD.

“The reality is that cities can’t deliver multi-billion dollar flood resiliency upgrades on their own. We need sustained, annual funding from the provincial government for flood resilience, especially in agricultural communities like mine where we are planning for both sea level rise and river flooding events. The time for planning is over. The time for urgent action is now.” – Delta Councillor Dylan Kruger.

“We desperately need to climate-proof our watersheds and floodplains against flooding and drought. Communities and ecosystems across the province are getting hit worse every year and we need to mobilize on a massive scale to defend them. This budget fell short, and the impacts to people, fish and wildlife will be real.” – Aaron Hill, Executive Director of Watershed Watch Salmon Society, a member of the LFFC.

The LFFC and partners await the release of the BC Flood Strategy and having the Province come to the table as a serious partner in flood resiliency.

Contact for interviews:

Tyrone McNeil, Tyrone.McNeil@stolotribalcouncil.ca
Sto:lo Tribal Chief and Chair of the Emergency Planning Secretariat

Anna Warwick Sears, anna.warwick.sears@obwb.ca
Executive Director, Okanagan Basin Water Board

Jason Lum, jlum@fvrd.ca
Chair of the FVRD

Dylan Kruger, DKruger@delta.ca
Delta Councillor

Aaron Hill, aaron@watershedwatch.ca
Executive Director of Watershed Watch Salmon Society

Media Inquiries

For inquiries or to join our media list, please contact:

Dene Moore
Communications Specialist

dene@watershedwatch.ca 
250-644-3175

Lower Fraser Floodplain Coalition: Budget 2024 fails to deliver on flood resilience

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Lower Fraser Floodplains Coalition is sorely disappointed in the lack of funding for flood resilience in B.C. Budget 2024.

There is nothing to show for all this government’s talk of taking climate change seriously or for all the strategies and plans the province has been drafting and crafting for two years now. All that we see in this budget amounts to a dismal set of generalized commitments for climate change adaptation and lip service to the needs of floodplain communities to create flood resilience. The commitment to upgrade Barrowtown Pump Station is an example of building back without providing adequate funding for planning toward long-term sustainability and resilience that should include co-benefits of flood protection, food production, and fish flows.

“British Columbia (and Canada) must take their heads out of the mud and meaningfully invest in the long-term resilience for B.C. By doing so, lives, property, and natural resources would be much safer in times of climate crisis,” said Sto:lo Tribal Chief Tyrone McNeil, Chair of the Emergency Planning Secretariat. “The new BC Emergency Disaster Management Act commits the BC government to investing proactively into reducing risks and enhancing the economic, social, health and cultural resilience of society and the environment, and the government needs to get moving. We know more floods are coming.”

Members of the LFFC have been working in good faith with the Province since the atmospheric river and floods of 2021. We are still waiting for the release of the BC Flood Strategy and a funding allocation sufficient to address the needs of regions across the province.

“Money that we spend now to protect homes from flooding will be a fraction of the money we would need to spend to restore or rebuild houses after the next extreme flood. Why are we stuck in this loop of always having to wait for disaster before funding can become available? Being proactive would not only save vast amounts of money, it would also save people from the terrible experience of being flooded out.” – Anna Warwick Sears, Executive Director, Okanagan Basin Water Board

“The momentum is here. Local governments are eager for support and committed to working collaboratively. It is time for the Provincial and Federal governments to bring the long-term, stable, non-competitive funding that will allow us to work together for a resilient future.” – Jason Lum, Chair of the FVRD.

“The reality is that cities can’t deliver multi-billion dollar flood resiliency upgrades on their own. We need sustained, annual funding from the provincial government for flood resilience, especially in agricultural communities like mine where we are planning for both sea level rise and river flooding events. The time for planning is over. The time for urgent action is now.” – Delta Councillor Dylan Kruger.

“We desperately need to climate-proof our watersheds and floodplains against flooding and drought. Communities and ecosystems across the province are getting hit worse every year and we need to mobilize on a massive scale to defend them. This budget fell short, and the impacts to people, fish and wildlife will be real.” – Aaron Hill, Executive Director of Watershed Watch Salmon Society, a member of the LFFC.

The LFFC and partners await the release of the BC Flood Strategy and having the Province come to the table as a serious partner in flood resiliency.

Contact for interviews:

Tyrone McNeil, Tyrone.McNeil@stolotribalcouncil.ca
Sto:lo Tribal Chief and Chair of the Emergency Planning Secretariat

Anna Warwick Sears, anna.warwick.sears@obwb.ca
Executive Director, Okanagan Basin Water Board

Jason Lum, jlum@fvrd.ca
Chair of the FVRD

Dylan Kruger, DKruger@delta.ca
Delta Councillor

Aaron Hill, aaron@watershedwatch.ca
Executive Director of Watershed Watch Salmon Society

Media Inquiries

For inquiries or to join our media list, please contact:

Dene Moore
Communications Specialist

dene@watershedwatch.ca 
250-644-3175