Yesterday, the Minister of Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Bill Blair, confirmed that the Government of Canada has approved a Request for Federal Assistance from the Province of British Columbia to help with their response to extreme flooding in the province.
The impact of the flooding is widespread, including in multiple Indigenous communities, and the emergency response is complex, requiring cooperation across all layers of government.
In recognition of the significant, immediate challenges in the southwest and central areas of the province resulting in major impacts on individuals, communities, and critical infrastructure, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will provide both air assets and a land component to assist with the whole-of-government relief effort. Tasks for the CAF include, but are not limited to:
- Air support to assist evacuations, as well as general assistance to vulnerable and stranded people;
- Air support to support critical provincial supply chains;
- Reconnaissance and investigation of flooding impacts in support of relief effort planning; and.
- Assistance with flood mitigation efforts, including protection of critical infrastructure, access roads, and properties, as designated by local authorities.
As part of the whole-of-government response, the CAF is immediately deploying additional air assets with a view to be positioned to deliver effect within 24 hours. The CAF will be deploying an Immediate Response Unit reconnaissance team today. The CAF will provide logistical planning expertise to support analysis of the supply chain, including fuel, communications, and other strategic resources, as well as liaison officers to the Provincial Emergency Management Office.
The federal government, through the Government Operations Centre, continues to engage and work with provincial partners to coordinate the federal response effort to ensure that the province has the resources it needs to support the people of British Columbia.