The federal government is funding more than $13.7 million for projects that will improve 4.3 kilometres of Richmond’s dykes, upgrade five pump stations and divert water from the Fraser River to farms for irrigation in the dry season.
With the threat posed by increasingly frequent intense weather systems caused by climate change, the time is right to keep Richmond’s residents safe, the federal government said at Wednesday afternoon’s announcement in the shadow of the No. 2 Road bridge.
“By investing in this important flood protection project for Richmond, we are helping ensure residents and businesses are protected from the heavy personal and economic costs of extreme weather events,” Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Francois-Philippe Champagne said. “Investing in this kind of infrastructure also creates good middle-class jobs and supports a strong economy, paving the way for a safe prosperous future for our kids and grandkids.”
Some 4.3 kilometres of the city’s dyke network will be upgraded, which includes raising its height so it can withstand rising sea levels due to climate change.
Once complete, Ottawa said the projects will significantly reduce the risk of flooding in Richmond and protect critical infrastructure.
“As an island community, flood protection is a critical priority for the City of Richmond,” Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said. “We are well protected today, but further improvements are necessary to address emerging threats due to climate change. This investment from the Government of Canada will help ensure Richmond residents, businesses and infrastructure remain safe and secure.””
Steveston-Richmond East MP Joe Peschisolido agreed.
“Now more than ever, Canadian communities need to take action and adapt to climate change. I am proud that our government is supporting this important work that will help improve the City of Richmond’s existing infrastructure and protect the community and residents from flooding for decades to come.”
The federal government’s $2 billion, 10-year Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund is aimed at helping communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural disasters.