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Flood mitigation framework, projects make Abbotsford region more resilient

April 28, 2023 at 1:21 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Chief Dalton Silver, Semá:th First Nation –

“S’ólh Téméxw te íkw’elò. Xólhmet te mekw stám ít kwelát – This is our land. We have to take care of everything that belongs to us. Joining in this multi-government agreement is a small but significant step in the right direction for us to have a say in the management of our land, S’ólh Téméxw. Our ancestors have always emphasized the importance of taking care of our land, as it is the foundation of our people’s existence. By participating in this agreement, we are exercising our inherent right, taking a role in shaping a better place for future generations. This is just the beginning, but we are hopeful that this agreement will serve as a foundation for more collaborative efforts between different levels of government, and we will continue to work towards a sustainable and prosperous future for S’ólh Téméxw.”

Chief Alice Thompson, Leq’á:mel First Nation –

“Leq’a:mel is pleased to play an equal role in the collective recovery, mitigation and protection of Sumas Prairie. This collaborative framework brings together First Nations, local and provincial governments in an innovative approach founded in a respect for and recognition of our Indigenous rights, both as individual First Nations and as a collective. Leq’a:mel exercises our rights, title and jurisdiction over Aylechootlook Indian Reserve Number 5, located in close proximity to the Barrowtown pump station. As we recover from the atmospheric river events and develop a long-term flood mitigation plan for this area, this framework will ensure Leq’a:mel values, lands and infrastructure are identified and protected, will build collective knowledge, capacity and resilience, and promote shared decision-making.”

Chief Alice McKay, Matsqui First Nation –

“We here in Matsqui are pleased with the actions that are being taken. Emergency preparedness can only be realized through collaborative planning measures involving all levels of government. Environmental events do not discriminate in their destruction, and we must all work together now to ensure we are better prepared to support our emergency responders for the next test Mother Nature chooses to put in front of us.”

Pam Alexis, Minister of Agriculture and Food and MLA for Abbotsford-Mission –

“The atmospheric rivers of November 2021 were unprecedented and the impacts on Abbotsford and local farmers and food producers were widespread and devastating, but our work to build back stronger and more resilient continues. These investments are vital to local infrastructure and the people of the Fraser Valley to ensure we’re better prepared for extreme weather in the future.”

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests –

“Several communities in southern B.C. are still recuperating from the extraordinary floods in 2021. It is vital that the Province is a meaningful partner in the recovery and the work to help reduce the likelihood and consequences of future floods. Working with First Nations and the cities of Abbotsford and Chilliwack, we are taking meaningful steps on flood recovery and increasing the resiliency of the Sumas Prairie to effectively weather future flooding and the effects of climate change.”

Rick Glumac, Premier’s liaison for the Pacific Northwest –

“The 2021 atmospheric river has had a profound impact on the residents of the Fraser Valley. As we move forward, the Province is leading intergovernmental flood-mitigation efforts, including with Washington state where the flooding originated.  We are committed to ensuring that people are supported, and communities are prepared as we continue to face new experiences of climate change.”

Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship –

“The widespread flooding in the Fraser Valley caused significant damage, impacted thousands of British Columbians, and underlined the need to mitigate flooding risks in the region. This support for crucial repairs will help residents face the future with renewed confidence and also help restore important fish habitat and ecosystem functions.”

Dan Coulter, Minister of State for Infrastructure and Transit and MLA for Chilliwack –

“These flood recovery projects are part of our focus to build back better after the devastating atmospheric river of 2021, and to make sure British Columbia’s infrastructure is strong, resilient and reliable for the new climate reality that we are in. This resiliency will help keep people in the Fraser Valley and around the province safe from extreme weather events.”

Ross Siemens, mayor of Abbotsford –

“I want to thank the Province, and the Semá:th, Mathxwí and Leq’á:mel First Nations for coming together for the Sumas River Flood Mitigation Collaborative Framework, and the provincial government for its attention to important recovery and restoration projects. The 2021 flood was a devastating event for people and businesses in Abbotsford and the road to recovery has been and continues to be long. With assistance from the Province, we are getting our community back on its feet and restoring infrastructure, while we continue to work with local First Nations and senior levels of government to rebuild.”

Ken Popove, mayor of Chilliwack –

“We know that flooding doesn’t recognize municipal borders, so the City of Chilliwack is pleased to be a part of the Sumas River Flood Mitigation Collaborative Framework. Working together, our governments will be able to effectively establish and implement strategies to move our communities forward and better prepare for future events.”

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