Manitoba boosts flood protection program by nearly $5M

By | March 26, 2020

The Manitoba government is spending nearly $8 million on its 2020 flood protection program — a jump from the $3-million cap initially placed on the one-time program, Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler said on Thursday.

The province added the extra funding to help its more than 80 municipalities tap into more resources “while boosting economic activity during extraordinary global challenges,” the government said in a news release.

Proposals for funding under the flood protection program were reviewed by a panel made up of representatives from the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region and the Manitoba government.

The funding roughly breaks down to:

  • $1.27 million for 14 municipalities in the province’s central district.
  • $776,000 for 10 municipalities in the eastern district.
  • $1.1 million for 10 municipalities in the Interlake district.
  • $715,000 for nine municipalities in the midwestern district.
  • $77,000 for two municipalities in the northern district.
  • $759,000 for 11 municipalities in the Parkland district.
  • $1.1 million for 15 municipalities in the western district.
  • $2 million for 13 municipalities in the Winnipeg area.

The funding will cover items like generators, pumps, steaming equipment to unclog frozen culverts, utility trailers, equipment for emergency operations centres, sandbags, and other small equipment that will help municipalities protect infrastructure and reduce flood damage. 

Updated disaster financial assistance

The province also announced a modernized disaster financial assistance cost-sharing formula that will let municipalities set aside money for disaster mitigation programs in their communities.

Proposed changes to that program will result in municipalities covering the first $3.25 per capita, up from $1 per capita, before the disaster financial assistance formula applies.

Municipal Relations Minister Rochelle Squires said the changes come into effect April 1. Municipalities will have a larger deductible that the province will cover to get the community back to “pre-disaster conditions.” The municipality will then spend the same amount of money on building infrastructure that won’t be flooded out in future years.

Municipal Relations Minister Rochelle Squires said the modernized disaster financial assistance cost-sharing formula will help municipalities better prepare for future floods. (Radio-Canada)

“We’ve seen [situations] where we have used disaster financial assistance money to get a municipality back to the pre-disaster condition, only to see them flood once again in the years to come,” she said.

“And we’re saying now, ‘Take that money and invest in infrastructure upgrades or equipment to help build that resiliency so you can better fight against future floods.'”

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