VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 27, 2012) - The Honourable Vic Toews, Canada's Minister of Public Safety, today announced more than $29 million in federal funding under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) program for response and recovery costs incurred by the Province of British Columbia related to the wildfires in 2009 and other natural disasters.
"Our Government is committed to helping Canadians and their communities recover from natural disasters," said Minister Toews. "The Province of British Columbia incurred significant expenses fighting wildfires in 2009 and the federal Government will contribute to the Province's ongoing recovery from such events."
"The BC Government welcomes the contribution of the Government of Canada supporting us in our efforts to assist communities and individuals to respond and recover from disasters," said Justice Minister and Attorney General Shirley Bond.
This announcement includes an interim payment of $22.5 million to the Province of British Columbia related to response and recovery costs for the more than 3,000 forest fires between the months of May and November 2009. The fires caused the evacuation of over 20,000 people and affected over 212,000 hectares of land.
Also included is an interim payment in the amount of $2 million for a severe rainstorm in January 2009 affecting the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver Regional Districts, as well as final payments in the amounts of $4,337,646 and $709,633 for British Columbia weather events causing flooding in 2005 and 2006.
"Canadians can also be assured that the federal government is currently working with provinces and territories to build safer and more resilient communities by developing a national disaster mitigation program which will lessen the impact of disasters on vulnerable communities," added Minister Toews. "My heart goes out to individuals who have been impacted by the current flooding in British Columbia. I would like to thank first responders in the community for the great work they have done assisting fellow Canadians at this difficult time."
Since its inception in 1970, the DFAA program has provided more than $2.1 billion in disaster financial assistance to the provinces and territories. For more information on the federal DFAA program and its guidelines, please visit our website: www.publicsafety.gc.ca.
For information on how to prepare for emergencies including severe flooding, Canadians can follow @Get_Prepared on Twitter or visit: www.getprepared.gc.ca.