North Coast communities received more than $33,000, as their share of a total $2.2 million investment from the provincial government to improve and modernize services for people evacuated from their homes during emergencies, the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness announced March 31.
Prince Rupert received $3,892 to improve its capacity for emergency support services. Daajing Giids was given $29,965 to fund emergency support services storage and the purchase of supplies.
“As we see more frequent climate-related emergencies, it’s important that residents of the North Coast know they can access emergency support services should they need it,” Jennifer Rice, MLA for the North Coast, stated.
Rice was previously the province’s parliamentary secretary for emergency preparedness and was appointed parliamentary secretary for rural health in January.
“… I know this funding is crucial to our communities,” she stated.
According to the B.C. government website, 30,000 people use emergency support services each year, on average.
“British Columbians who are forced to evacuate their homes often rely on provincially funded emergency support services that are delivered in partnership with First Nations and local governments,” Bowinn Ma, minister of emergency management and climate readiness, stated.
Fifty-seven First Nations and municipal governments received funding to help with volunteer recruitment, retention and training, and purchasing supplies and equipment.
The money is also meant to help communities modernize their services and move toward digital registration and reporting. The hope is this will help people get direct payments.
Projects vary across the province. The East Kootenay Regional District is using the funding to purchase sea cans to store cots, blankets and generators. Abbotsford is using it to establish a 100-bed lodge for displaced people during an emergency.
The Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness committed $180 million to help communities prepare for emergencies in February, 2023.
Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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