Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne (reflective vest) consoles a resident as he and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth tour the flood-damaged community, Dec. 3, 2021. (B.C. government photo)

Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne (reflective vest) consoles a resident as he and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth tour the flood-damaged community, Dec. 3, 2021. (B.C. government photo)

B.C. commits $53.6 million to rebuild 10 flood-struck communities

Temporary housing includes Princeton, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission

The B.C. government announced a $53.6 million fund Thursday to start work to allow people to move back to communities devastated by last November’s floods and landslides.

Municipal Affairs Minister Nathan Cullen said April 14 that the funds will assist 10 communities, including Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Hope, Princeton and Merritt, where the mayor said help is still needed for major works like bridges, dikes and flood control planning.

Mayors from Abbotsford, Princeton and Merritt, along with representatives from 29 other flood-affected communities, met with B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth on April 11 to discuss long-awaited help from the province’s Disaster Financial Assistance program, and the commitment of $5 billion in federal help promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after a tour of the flood-damaged Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford.

“Everyone in the room basically said the same thing, and that is that the money needs to come faster and the system needs to be more efficient,” Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne told the Similkameen Spotlight after the meeting.

During a week when Trudeau and federal cabinet ministers were in B.C., Coyne, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun and Merritt Mayor Linda Brown joined others honoured as community heroes, taking part in a ceremonial puck-drop at a Vancouver Canucks game.

Brown said temporary housing is a high priority, to allow people to move back in and provide housing for construction workers needed for rebuilding water, sewer and other basic services.

“This is not the finish line, it’s the beginning,” Brown said.

RELATED: B.C. deploys helicopters to lift debris from flood-struck rivers

RELATED: Princeton struggles to clean up without water, power or gas


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC FloodBC legislature