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Creating jobs and protecting communities from natural disasters

Posted on October 15, 2020 by Vauxhall Advance

Alberta’s government is spending $53 million from the industry-supported Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund to create jobs through flood mitigation projects.

Projects will include flood mitigation infrastructure, watershed restoration projects and a new program to help municipalities and Indigenous communities adapt to future floods.
Since 2014, Alberta’s government has spent more than $307 million to support flood resilience projects in communities across the province.

Alberta’s government recently announced $750 million for projects across the province through the industry-supported TIER fund. This will support nearly 9,000 jobs when investments from other funding sources are included, injecting a total of $1.9 billion into the province’s economy.

“Flooding has disrupted the lives of Albertans and our economy too often in recent years. This funding will help protect communities against flooding, now and in the future, and support good jobs for Albertans when they are needed most across the province. I look forward to seeing these projects built and operational over the coming years,” said Jason Nixon, minister of Environment and Parks.

The TIER system’s goal is to enhance the ability of Alberta’s communities to adapt to changes in weather. This industry-funded system will help equip communities to address future climate fluctuations while supporting the province’s economic recovery.

Ten high-priority flood mitigation projects across the province will receive a total of $45 million, including flood protection for Edmonton’s two water treatment plants.

Work to protect communities and critical infrastructure in Canmore and the Municipal District of Bighorn from debris, including large boulders and trees, has already begun. Stormwater improvements in the Municipal District of Taber will also be funded by the money announced Oct. 8.

The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) will receive $4.5 million to administer a new Climate Adaptation Program to help municipalities and Indigenous communities in Alberta better understand, manage and adjust to a changing climate.

The program will help communities learn about climate adaptation, assess how vulnerable they are to events like floods, droughts and severe storms, and build climate adaptation plans. The MCCAC is a partnership of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, Rural Municipalities of Alberta and the Government of Alberta.

“The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association is pleased that municipalities and Indigenous communities in Alberta will have the opportunity to access the Climate Adaptation Program. The Action Centre, with its decade-long success record, will successfully develop and administer this innovative program. With the support of the Action Centre, participants will increase their climate adaptation ability, assess climate vulnerabilities, and build climate adaptation plans to help keep their communities safe,” said Barry Morishita, president, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association.

“We are thrilled to see the government of Alberta taking steps forward and helping Alberta communities prepare to address climate-related risks. This program means Alberta municipalities and Indigenous communities will have access to a range of capacity-building activities enabling participants of varying states of readiness to engage in climate adaptation planning and make progress on risk reduction strategies. The Action Centre is poised to successfully manage the Climate Adaptation Program,” said Al Kemmere, president, Rural Municipalities of Alberta.

A total of $3.5 million will be available through the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program to support new projects that improve watersheds and better prepare communities for flood and drought.

Since 2014, the program has funded 125 projects and supported the restoration of more than 750 hectares of wetlands, as well as more than 1,000 hectares of riparian areas covering more than 150 kilometres of streambank. Eligible organizations have until Jan. 4, 2021 to apply for funding.

TIER funding

The TIER system is funded by large industry, which pays into the fund when they do not meet emissions targets.

This support will help industry reduce emissions and supports Alberta’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices. It will be more than doubled by additional dollars from industry and other sectors, leading to more than $1.9 billion in total funding.

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