Feds give up $15.3 million for natural disaster mitigation in Victoria

Investment to go toward underground infrastructure upgrades

Victoria’s natural disaster resiliency efforts are getting a boost, thanks to a $15.3 million federal investment announced Tuesday.

The investments however, won’t be visible above ground. The money will go towards renewing the city’s aging underground pipes and structures in an effort to improve resiliency to coastal storms, spring thaws and rising sea levels – all intensifying as a result of climate change.

Marc Miller, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, was in Victoria Tuesday, announcing the government contribution at the Songhees Walkway.

“This is an issue we’re facing as a nation, and the science is clear and troubling,” Miller said. “We’re no longer just talking about preventing climate change, but how we need to adapt to a sad and complex reality.

We need to invest now, in infrastructure to protect our communities before these disasters actually happen.”

READ ALSO: Completion date for seismic upgrades to Vic High pushed to 2022

Victoria will see some of the money this year – but it will be distributed to the city over a 10-year period, a supplement to the city’s existing yearly infrastructure investments as it works to replace Victoria’s old pipes – some of them over a century old – with seismically resistant materials that improve capacity to deal with climate change impacts.

City of Victoria Coun. Sarah Potts said the funding provides added security.

“This gives us security in our planning for our mitigation adaption efforts, and it really demonstrates to the city and the region and across the country, the kind of collaboration that’s needed to tackle the impending risks of climate change,” she said.”[The] underground infrastructure is securing our water, our pipes – so in the case of a natural disaster our rescue teams will be able to focus on on-the-ground recovery, and we will be sure that we have drinking water for the city.”

READ ALSO: Victoria’s oldest pipes to be replaced this year

Marc Miller, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, spoke at the Songhees Walkway on Tuesday to announce a $15.3 million federal investment in underground infrastructure upgrades. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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