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November 16th, 2021

B.C. floods and wildfires show the liberal government needs to invest more in disaster prevention: NDP

OTTAWA –Today, the NDP critic for Emergency Preparedness, Richard Cannings, said the federal government needs to invest in improved infrastructure to help prevent catastrophic natural disasters like the flooding and landslides happening in B.C. right now. Thousands of British Columbians have been stuck in their vehicles overnight or forced to leave their homes because of the ongoing flooding.

“My thoughts are with all British Columbians affected by these floods. New Democrats will push the federal government to ensure there is adequate funding assistance coming to help people and their communities recover,” said Cannings. “But we also need the government to be more proactive on emergency preparedness. In just three months, B.C. residents have had to endure record-high heat waves, extreme wildfires, torrential rains and flooding which have cost people their lives and devastated parts of the province. This is the direct result of the climate crisis and, without immediate action, it will only get worse in the future.”

As the climate crisis continues, more and more communities are going to experience these devastating climate-related disasters unless steps are taken to prevent damage beforehand. New Democrats are calling for more preventative action including fully funding the FireSmart program, increased floodplain mapping and updating important infrastructure along the province’s roads.

“There is an old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to emergency preparedness, the federal government should follow this advice,” said Cannings. “Instead of waiting for the worst to happen, the Trudeau government must fund preventative measures to help minimize the harm and damage caused by climate-related disasters. New Democrats will continue to push for support for British Columbians and for the government to invest in infrastructure upgrades and urgent action on the climate crisis before these disasters occur.”