WEST CARLETON – Kanata-Carleton MPP Dr. Merrilee Fullerton says Ontario’s flooding strategy, released today (March 9) is “very much a collaborative approach.”
Fullerton said she is pleased the Natural Resources and Forestry Minister John Yakabuski made public the Ontario Flooding Strategy in advance of the spring melt along the Ottawa and Mississippi Rivers, in a statement also released today. The announcement addressed the recommendations made in fall 2019 by the province’s special advisor Doug McNeil and it outlines the next steps to reducing risk and increasing preparedness for flooding.
At a press conference in Minden this morning, Minister Yakabuski explained the Ontario government is taking action to protect residents and communities.
“We know that we can’t prevent flooding in Ontario,” Yakabuski said. “We can become more resilient to it. Our strategy is designed to increase public awareness and help us to be better prepared and equipped to respond to the devastating effects of flooding.”
“This Ontario Flooding Strategy lays out the actions the province is taking and the many ways the Ontario officials are working closely with our municipal partners at the City of Ottawa, our federal counterparts, local conservation authorities, as well as industry and Indigenous communities to help implement a coordinated, effective response to possible flooding in our city,” Fullerton said. “It is very much a collaborative approach. The City of Ottawa is responsible for flood preparedness and response, but as residents in West Carleton saw last year, the Ontario government is active in providing support for people in need. Whether it was waiving the Electrical Safety Authority fees for reconnecting electricity or the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program, provincial officials were assisting where they were called upon.”
Fullerton said her government has been working closely with all stakeholders in potential flood mitigation.
“I will continue to report on provincial government support services,” and MPP Fullerton adds, “The Province is in constant contact with other levels of government to ensure any necessary response is efficiently acted on. The health and safety of our residents is the top priority for all concerned.”
Meanwhile, Minister Yakabuski was in Minden, ON this morning, sharing details of the province’s future flood strategy.
“We’re listening to people from across the province who have been affected by flooding, and that is why we’re taking a whole-of-government approach and calling on the federal government, our municipal partners, conservation authorities, industry and Indigenous communities to work with us to implement the actions contained in this strategy,” Yakabuski said.
The minister said the Ontario government is taking action to protect people and communities from the effects of flooding by reducing flood risk and helping Ontarians to be better prepared for flooding events.
Ontario’s Flooding Strategy focuses on five priority areas:
- Understanding flood risk through updated floodplain mapping and increasing access to flood-related information
- Strengthening governance through provincial policy to ensure local development is directed away from areas where flooding and erosion present unacceptable risks
- Enhancing flood preparedness through the use of state-of-the art science and technology
- Enhancing response and recovery by improving how we receive and respond to municipal requests for assistance
- Investing in flood risk reduction by working with the federal government to increase investment in critical areas like mapping and infrastructure
“Building healthier and safer communities is our top priority and that’s why we’re taking action to strengthen the province’s preparedness for flooding,” Minister of Infrastructure and MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. Minister of Infrastructure and MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock Laurie Scott said. “We’ll continue to speak with Ontarians and we’ll keep learning more as the strategy is implemented.”
The government’s flood strategy was informed by public consultations and the expert advice of Doug McNeil, Ontario’s Special Advisor on Flooding.