The Government of Canada has announced that new flood relief funding was awarded to the Province of B.C. through a federal disaster relief program.

A second advanced payment of $556,955,880 to the Province of British Columbia through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) was announced on Thursday, February 23. The payment is dedicated to the cost of recovery for affected communities in B.C. during the November 2021 floods.

“The Government of Canada has been working closely with the province, municipalities and First Nations to recover and rebuild following the devastating flooding that took place in November 2021,” said Bill Blair, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

“This payment is another important step in building back from this event in a way that better protects British Columbians.”

Evacuation operations, public works and infrastructure restoration, and property replacement are just some of the eligible expenses that B.C. communities may apply for. 

“We’re going to dissect the announcement to find out how it is going to affect us,” said Mayor Mike Goetz. “We will then proceed to the recommendations on how to get the funding and then go from there. I will have a clearer picture tomorrow on what that exactly would look like.” 

While it is still unclear on how much Merritt is going to benefit from this new federal funding, Goetz is optimistic that this announcement will help the city move forward with its much needed work. 

“I think it will be easier for us to get this from the Province than it will be from the feds,” he said. “B.C. has already come to the table for us. Minister Ma was already here and gave us funding for two pieces of dikes that fixes some areas along the Coldwater River.” 

Goetz will be meeting with his staff on Friday, February 24, to discuss the next steps the City has to take to secure funding.