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Flood Protection Resolution Becomes National Policy

Delta farmland next to the Fraser River

The Delta Chamber of Commerce has gained support from business organizations across the country in its work to advocate for the federal government to partner with provincial and local governments to provide guaranteed, flexible funding and a streamlined approval process to address long term climate change related disaster mitigation projects.

This week, a Delta Chamber of Commerce policy resolution, supported by co-sponsoring neighbour chambers, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and Surrey Board of Trade, entitled “Funding for Climate Change Adaptation – Severe Weather Disaster Mitigation Through Flood Protection” was adopted at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce virtual AGM. As a result, the resolution will now become a policy of the national chamber, which represents over 200,000 businesses across Canada and will form part of its advocacy agenda with the federal government.

 

Flood Protection Policy

The resolution includes recommendations to develop and implement a national action plan to address the specific issues of flood prevention and adaptation and asks for collaboration between multiple stakeholders. In a letter to Delta MP Carla Qualtrough about the adoption of the Chamber’s resolution, Delta Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Yvonne Anderson said that the low-lying areas of Delta and Tsawwassen First Nation are protected by  “67km of dikes which need to be upgraded and raised by at least 1.2 metres in order to meet sea level rise by 2100”, and a 2009 report by the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning at UBC showed that over 25,000 people were at risk of displacement and $5.85 billion in land and building value were at risk of damage at the time. These figures have only grown since the time of reporting.

Recent estimates have the cost to raise and upgrade the dikes and seawalls around Delta, to meet the 2100 sea level rise, at $2 billion. Other communities in ocean and river-front communities across Canada face similar challenges. The federal government’s funding program to support communities in building, upgrading, or repairing large-scale infrastructure projects (Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund) currently totals only $2 billion for all projects across all of Canada.

“We thank our fellow Chambers and Boards of Trade for their support and are pleased to report that our assembly voted 97% in favour of adopting our policy resolution. This level of support shows us that the issues of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures are becoming critical  for communities across Canada.” said Garry Shearer, Executive Director of the Delta Chamber of Commerce. “We’re calling on the federal government to take collaborative action in order to develop a strategic plan for funding and approval of flood prevention infrastructure investments over time through taking action on these recommendations before it’s too late.”
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The Delta Chamber of Commerce is a member-based organization of business and professional people, which works to promote our members’ collective commercial interests; to build a healthy economy and improve the quality of life in our community and to advocate for the interests of the Delta business community with all levels of government. 

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