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Supporting Okanagan’s resilience against floods

June 13, 2024 at 2:26 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

From Infrastructure Canada:   

Two communities in the Okanagan will take steps to protect themselves from flooding caused by climate change through an investment of more than $9.1 million from the federal and provincial governments, and municipalities of Vernon and Lumby.

The project will replace the Vernon Creek crossing of 43rd Street, located upstream of the Vernon Water Reclamation Centre, with a clear span bridge. This will allow for channel widening to increase capacity while safeguarding the creek’s embankments and fish habitats. The crossing replacement will protect the centre from recurring floods as well as protect six residential roads and approximately 50 properties from flooding.

In Lumby, funding will construct a 460-metre setback dike on the right bank of Duteau Creek, and a 477-metre waterside dike on the right bank of Bessette Creek, while restoring affected floodplains. The development of nearly one kilometre of physical flood protection for the community will be at critical areas that have historically experienced flooding.


“Improving disaster mitigation infrastructure is critical to protecting areas that are susceptible to flooding for a number of reasons. Improving flood resilience in Vernon and Lumby will safeguard homes, livelihoods, and other community infrastructure while working to preserve the natural landscape that the Okanagan is known for. We will continue to work alongside our partners to build more resilient, adaptable communities across the country.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness, Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, and Member of Parliament for Vancouver South, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“Climate change is threatening communities across the province, leaving people at greater risk of having their homes and livelihoods impacted by flooding. It’s more important now than ever to be prepared, and we’re building flood-mitigation projects in communities like Vernon and Lumby so that people are better protected now and for years to come.”

The Honourable Bowinn Ma, B.C. Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness

“We are incredibly grateful to the Government of Canada and the Province of BC for providing significant funding to upgrade this critical infrastructure. Once complete, the 43rd Street Crossing replacement will help safeguard vital community assets, particularly the Vernon Water Reclamation Centre, as well as surrounding properties, while promoting ecological resilience. This project demonstrates a significant commitment to creating a resilient community that can adapt to the increasing challenges posed by climate change.”

His Worship Victor Cumming, Mayor of the City of Vernon

“My Council colleagues and I would like to thank both the provincial and federal governments for this flood mitigation funding for the Village of Lumby. The village, located within the confluence of three creeks, has experienced numerous major freshet/flood events in the past 15 years. The locations of the funded works on Duteau Creek and Bessette Creek will assist the Village in flood resilience through mitigating potential flooding caused by climate change.”

His Worship Kevin Acton, Mayor of the Village of Lumby

Quick Facts:

  • In Vernon, the federal government is investing $1,326,240 through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of British Columbia is investing $1,105,089 and the City of Vernon is contributing $884,271.
  • In Lumby, the federal government is investing $2,318,542 through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of British Columbia is investing $1,931,925 and the Village of Lumby is contributing $1,545,887.
  • The Green Infrastructure Stream helps build greener communities by contributing to climate change preparedness, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting renewable technologies.
  • Including today’s announcement, 125 infrastructure projects under the Green Infrastructure Stream have been announced in British Columbia, with a total federal contribution of more than $542.5 million and a total provincial contribution of more than $378 million. 
  • Under the Investing in Canada Plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
  • Infrastructure Canada helps address complex challenges that Canadians face every day—ranging from the rapid growth of our cities, to climate change, to environmental threats to our water and land. 
  • Federal funding is conditional on fulfilling all requirements related to consultation with Indigenous groups and environmental assessment obligations.

Associated Links:

Investing in Canada: Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan

Green Infrastructure Stream

Federal infrastructure investments in British Columbia  

Strengthened Climate Plan  

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