A group in British Columbia wants better accountability for the use of a $5-billion recovery fund as provincial, municipal and Indigenous officials prepare to issue an update on repairs around Abbotsford since catastrophic floods last year.
The Indigenous-led collaborative seeking more integrated and resilient flood planning says there is little information about how the recovery fund has been allocated or spent.
The federal government provided the fund last December, just weeks after an intense rainstorm washed away highways, swelled area rivers and overwhelmed dikes in the low-lying Fraser Valley, inundating key agricultural land around Abbotsford.
The collaborative says it is encouraged by the province’s public consultations on flood strategy, but a statement from the group says the remainder of the $5 billion fund should be dedicated to its own approaches.
Those include redesigning programs and regulations to boost regional co-operation on flood-resilient infrastructure and creating a watershed security fund that would direct some of the federal recovery dollars to strengthening B.C.’s natural flood defences.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, Sema:th First Nation Chief Dalton Silver and Abbotsford Mayor Ross Siemens are set to deliver an update today on recovery work since flooding around Abbotsford in November 2021 caused damage estimated in the billions of dollars.
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