OTTAWA, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair announced advance payments on Monday to support flood, landslide and storm recovery efforts in the province of British Columbia.
The advance payments of over 870 million Canadian dollars (700 million U.S. dollars) is in addition to the 207 million Canadian dollars (166 million U.S. dollars) in support for wildfire recovery efforts that was announced in June, Blair said in a news release.
British Columbians are living the effects of extreme weather driven by climate change, following devastating floods and wildfires in the province which caused an estimated 9 billion Canadian dollar (7.2 billion U.S. dollar)-plus in damages last year.
"Climate change is threatening communities across Canada, and we need to keep our partnerships strong as we prepare for and work to prevent natural disasters and extreme weather events," Blair said, concluding the final meeting of the Committee of British Columbia and Federal Ministers on Disaster Response and Climate Resilience, which was set up in November last year.
In addition to the payments, the governments of Canada and British Columbia and the First Nations Leadership Council are working to build a trilateral agreement on emergency management. This agreement will strengthen First Nations' capacity to respond to and recover from future climate-related disasters, the release said. ■