Canada's emergency preparedness minister says Ottawa is providing $870 million to support recovery efforts after destructive flooding in British Columbia last fall. (Photo - The Canadian Press)
Canada's emergency preparedness minister says Ottawa is providing $870 million to support recovery efforts after destructive flooding in British Columbia last fall.
Bill Blair says the money is the first payment as part of a commitment the federal government made in the immediate aftermath of the severe weather, with more to come.
He says the money is being distributed through the disaster financial assistance program.
British Columbia has asked for about $5 billion from the program, and provincial Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says getting access to the money can take time, so this advanced payment is important.
Farnworth says much of the cash will go toward rebuilding infrastructure damaged when record-setting rainfall hit B.C. in November, causing widespread flooding and landslides that washed out sections of several highways.
Blair announced the funding at a news conference following the fifth and final meeting of a committee made up of B.C. and federal ministers on disaster response and climate resilience that was established last December.
The money is in addition to $200 million in federal funding announced in June to support recovery efforts from severe wildfires last summer, Blair says.
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