FEDS PLEDGE CASH FOR CLI­MATE CHANGE

City work­ing to tight dead­line and vy­ing with rest of Canada for piece of the $2-bil­lion pie

StarMetro Calgary - - NEWS - EMMA MCINTOSH

For Cal­gary, the fed­eral govern­ment’s an­nounce­ment Thurs­day of $2 bil­lion to for­tify com­mu­ni­ties against cli­mate change-re­lated dis­as­ters is a river of op­por­tu­nity.

The money could be used for big-ticket items such as the Spring­bank dam or a new reser­voir up­stream on the Bow River. It’ll need to hap­pen un­der a tight dead­line, how­ever, and amid fierce com­pe­ti­tion — city staff have un­til July 31 to sub­mit ini­tial ap­pli­ca­tions for a piece of the fund, vy­ing against the rest of Canada for the same par­cel of fed­eral cash.

“We don’t have a spe­cific list,” said the City of Cal­gary’s di­rec­tor of in­fra­struc­ture and re­silience, Chris­tine Arthurs, adding staff mem­bers have been as­sem­bling gen­eral plans for the money, which was sig­nalled in the fed­eral bud­get.

The new Dis­as­ter Mit­i­ga­tion and Adap­tion Fund is aimed at larger-scale plans with price tags of least $20 mil­lion. It can be used to up­grade older in­fra­struc­ture, or new projects such as wet­land restora­tions, wild­fire bar­ri­ers or lev­ees.

The 10-year pro­gram is open to mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, prov­inces, First Na­tions, non-prof­its and other or­ga­ni­za­tions across Canada.

The funds are likely to be in high de­mand, as the risks posed by cli­mate change na­tion­wide are many.

Many com­mu­ni­ties are also just start­ing to un­der­stand how cli­mate change might leave them vul­ner­a­ble, Arthurs said. With projects like the pos­si­ble up­stream reser­voir on the Bow still in their in­fancy and the Spring­bank dam al­ready the sub­ject of provin­cial fo­cus, the tim­ing for some ma­jor ini­tia­tives may not line up with the July 31 dead­line — though she said she hopes Cal­gary will have other chances to se­cure the fund­ing down the line.

“It’s hard to come up with a plan to­day that may or may not be ap­pro­pri­ate in 10 years,” she added. WWW.THES­TAR.COM

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS FILE

A truck is sub­merged in wa­ter on a street near El­bow River in Cal­gary dur­ing flood­ing in June 2013. A new fed­eral fund will pour $2 bil­lion into projects aimed at mit­i­gat­ing sim­i­lar dis­as­ters.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.