In this year’s budget, the government is making $2.1 billion available for fire mitigation and disaster relief.
Funds will be distributed to four main areas.
Over the next three years, $1.5 billion will go to flood recovery and supporting ongoing disaster response including debris removal and dike repairs.
The budget also invests $83 million towards climate change preparedness, expanding climate monitoring networks to measure streamflow, groundwater, snowpack and other data.
“We have all seen the impact that climate change is having on people’s lives and in our communities. That’s why while we continue the fight against climate change, we are also investing to strengthen our defences so we can protect people, communities and businesses from future climate-related disasters,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance, in a release.
To transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round firefighting and risk mitigation workforce, $145 million is being provided over the next three years.
Provincial officials said an additional $98 million will help maintain road access to aid in future wildfire responses.
“The NDP has finally listened to us. We’ve been harping on them to be proactive in their approach to wildfires and natural disasters,” said Doug Clovechok, Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA.
“They have to start forward-thinking on this and they have put some money towards it.”
Lastly, $110 million will go to the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund to help support emergency preparedness and mitigation efforts for more than 960 community projects.
MORE: NDP projects $5.5 billion deficit in 2022-23 budget (Feb. 22, 2022)