Canada helps protect the Cowichan Valley from the impact of climate change

Duncan, British Columbia, November 4, 2020—The safety and well-being of Canadians remains the Government of Canada’s top priority as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The federal government is taking decisive action to support families, businesses and communities, and continues to look ahead to see what more can be done. Investing in infrastructure to support local economies, keep people safe, and strengthen communities is a key part of these initiatives.

Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Chief William Seymour, of the Cowichan Tribes, announced funding to reduce the impact of climate change on the Cowichan Watershed’s ability to deal with increased winter storms and summer drought.

The Cowichan Watershed Resiliency Program will improve watershed resilience by increasing the capacity of the watershed to buffer both drought and flooding. The project will reduce the impact of storm events and river flooding on people’s homes, sacred sites, and critical public infrastructure for Cowichan Tribes and throughout the Cowichan Valley.  In addition, it will increase water supply and storage to address ongoing drought and rehabilitate infrastructure assets.

Getting to this point has been years in the making and a collaborative effort of multiple partners, including the Province of B.C., Paper Excellence, the Cowichan Valley Regional District, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Cowichan Watershed Board, and the community. 

The Government of Canada is investing more than $24.2 million in this project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund. Cowichan Tribes and contributing partners are investing more than $5.3 million.


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