With flooding as Canada’s costliest and most frequent natural disaster, the federal government recently announced $2.36 million in funding to the Province of Ontario to support work on eight projects under the National Disaster Mitigation Program to better plan for and protect against the effects.
“Reducing the risks from flooding in our region is one of TRCA’s main responsibilities,” said John MacKenzie, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority chief executive officer. “Governments at all levels jointly face the challenge of more severe weather events coupled with the opportunity presented by planned growth and intensification in our communities. (This) funding announcement will help TRCA and its municipal partners take significant strides in reducing flood risk so people are safer, properties are better protected, and our communities are more resilient.”
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, insured damage, in 2016, topped $4.9 billion, surpassing the previous annual record of $3.2 billion set in 2013. The annual economic cost of disasters around the world has increased five-fold since the 1980s and flooding damage has accounted for 80 per cent of federal disaster assistance payments over the past 20 years.
Studies have demonstrated that every dollar invested in mitigation generates a savings of six dollars in future disaster costs.