$31M for emergency funds

Nicholas Johansen

UPDATE 11:19 a.m.

Premier Horgan spoke for nearly a half an hour as he vists the Okanagan to talk about emergency preparedness and the Trans Mountain pipeline decision.

The Province is giving a $31 million boost to the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) for local governments and First Nations.

This brings the total program funding to $69.5 million.

"In the wake of consecutive record-breaking wildfire and flood seasons, the Province is providing more resources to help prepare communities and keep people safe in a disaster," said Premier John Horgan. "With these investments, we are supporting communities and emergency responders to reduce wildfire risk and better mitigate, respond to and recover from emergencies."

The Province is also investing an additional $19 million for 40 wildfire risk reduction projects in B.C. communities, delivered through the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. Thirty-six of the 40 approved projects are for fuel management projects that will directly reduce wildfire risk within two kilometres of a community.

"Wildfire risk mitigation work is critical to the health and well-being of our forests, our wildlife and our communities," said Wayne Clogg, Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. board chair. "These 40 new projects throughout the province will now have the funding they need to start wildfire risk mitigation work. In many cases, this funding is the catalyst to develop wildlife risk mitigation strategies and conduct treatments on the ground to protect and safeguard their communities."

The CEPF funding includes $30 million to help eligible applicants in local government and First Nations communities build resiliency through structural flood mitigation projects, flood risk assessments, mapping and mitigation planning. In addition to flood-specific funding, there is also support for resiliency in the face of all emergencies, including funds for evacuation route planning, emergency operations centre and emergency support services training and equipment.

UPDATE 10:44 a.m.

Premier Horgan's press conference is set to begin momentarily.

UPDATE 10:09 a.m.

Premier Horgan's announcement has been delayed by a few minutes. You can watch live as soon as the press conference begins.

UPDATE 9:47 a.m.

Watch live coverage of Premier Horgan's visit to Okanagan at 10:00 a.m.

Castanet's Nich Johansen will be covering Premier Horgan's announcement about community emergency preparedness and wildfire risk reduction as well as today's British Columbia Court of Appeal decision saying the province cannot restrict oil shipments through its borders.

ORIGINAL 5:00 a.m.

Premier John Horgan and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson will stop by Kelowna Friday morning for a pair of announcements.

Horgan and Robinson will both be at the main Kelowna firehall on Enterprise Way at 10 a.m.

They are scheduled to make an announcement concerning community emergency preparedness and wildfire risk reduction.

Following that, Robinson will move on to Clement Avenue, where she will be joined by Mayor Colin Basran and representatives of PC Urban for a new housing project on the former BC Packinghouse site.

Council recently gave final reading to the application for two six-storey buildings including ground floor commercial with residential above.

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