Ottawa, ON - Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris announced the Government of Canada has launched the first call for proposals for the National Disaster Mitigation Program. The Government of Canada will provide $200 million in funding over five years, starting in 2015-16. The program will focus mainly on flood mitigation to better protect communities and landowners.
"It's important we shift towards being proactive instead of reactive to prevent flooding in our region," said Maguire. "I am encouraging municipalities, landowners, farmers and local stakeholders to work with the Province to submit proposals that will prevent future flooding."
After reviewing national trends in disaster frequency, severity, and costs, it was determined that floods are the biggest draw on the Government of Canada's natural disaster recovery resources, including the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements. Accordingly, the National Disaster Mitigation Program will prioritize measures aimed at identifying the risks and mitigating the impacts of floods.
This program will help to reduce flood-related costs for all levels of government. It will also contribute to establishing conditions for the introduction of a residential flood insurance market in Canada.
Through this program, provinces will be able to apply for cost-sharing for flood prevention and mitigation projects. Public Safety Canada will work with provinces and other partners on the assessment criteria for projects funded by the National Disaster Mitigation Program. The National Disaster Mitigation Program will be a merit based process where projects may be selected using objective and measurable criteria such as: risk assessments; project readiness; and return on investment for proposed projects.
Through National Disaster Mitigation Program investments, the Government of Canada will:
- Help reduce flood-related risks and losses by supporting provinces and territories in identifying and mitigating high-risk flood areas;
- Contribute to establishing conditions for the introduction of a residential flood insurance market in Canada;
- Collect disaster risk information that will inform future investments.
Eligible projects could include both non-structural investments, such as flood-mapping and forecasting, and small-scale structural investments, such as retrofitting or modernizing existing buildings to improve resiliency.
Provincial governments are the eligible recipients for funding under the National Disaster Mitigation Program. However, provincial authorities may collaborate with, and redistribute funding to eligible entities, such as municipal or other local governments, public sector bodies, private sector bodies, band councils, international non-government organizations or any combination of these entities. The deadline to submit proposals for funding for 2015-2016 is June 30, 2015.
Since Maguire was elected as the Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris, he has been a strong advocate for the Assiniboine River Basin Commission and lobbied for the National Disaster Mitigation Program. He has worked closely with community leaders and farm organizations to raise awareness of this initiative and has also announced federal funding for flood mitigation projects in the City of Brandon, Melita, Reston, Souris and the RM of Cornwallis.
Maguire said, "It is imperative all levels of government continue to work together in coordinating effective watershed management. The residents of Westman communities are looking to their leaders to roll up their sleeves and get to work."
For more information on the National Disaster Mitigation Program please visit: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/mrgnc-mngmnt/dsstr-prvntn-mtgtn/ndmp/index-eng.aspx