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Province announced flood preparations and protection


Late last week the province announced plans to spend just under $8 million on flood preparations and protections for over 80 communities in the province, and some of that funding will flow to the north.
Originally set at $3 million, the 2020 Flood Protection Program funding was raised to prepare for needs this spring.
Two projects in the north will receiving funding; the Town of Snow Lake for a trash pump -a pump capable of pumping debris-filled water without clogging- and Churchill will see flood risk mapping as well as a utility trailer and a satellite phone. The total investment for these two projects is $76,899.
Of the eight regions including the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region, the two projects at $76,899 in funding received in the north was the lowest amount allocated by far. All other regions seen at least nine projects funded and a minimum of $715,000 in funded. The Western District had the most projects funded at 15 while the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region received the most funding at just over $2 million.
The province also announced the capability for municipalities to set aside funding for disaster mitigation programs in their communities while the cost-sharing formula for the Disaster Financial Assistance fund is modernized.
“The existing DFA system is a decade old and needs to be revised,” said Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler. “As the scale and scope of disasters increases, governments need to shift their focus to mitigation in order to limit the impact of future disasters, rather than relying on response and recovery.”
According to a provincial statement on the changing formula, municipalities would be able to redirect funds destined for payments under the provincial/municipal DFA cost-sharing formula to disaster mitigation and preparedness measures. This would apply when a DFA program qualifies for federal cost sharing under Canada’s Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA). In this case, the province would reimburse municipalities for 100 per cent of eligible DFA costs.
Under the proposed changes, municipalities will cover costs for the first $3.25 per capita, up from $1 per capita, before the DFA formula applies.

Trent Allen