British Columbia

B.C. welcomes federal government's 'initial' $5 billion in flood disaster relief

The Insurance Bureau of Canada has called the floods and slides the most costly weather event in B.C.'s history and estimated insured damage at $450 million.

Finance minister says cost assessments remain ongoing

Debris and abandoned cars are pictured on Highway 1 after a major flood in Abbotsford, B.C., on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

British Columbia's finance minister says the federal government's $5 billion contribution to flood disaster recovery efforts in the province is a historic amount of cash that reflects the extreme nature of the disaster.

However, Selina Robinson says in a statement the funding is an initial provision of federal dollars, and assessing the full costs of rebuilding remains an ongoing process.

The dollar figure was revealed in federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland's fiscal update released Tuesday.

Record amounts of rainfall last month caused widespread floods and slides in southern B.C. that crippled transportation routes, flooded farmlands and forced thousands to leave their homes and communities.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada has called the floods and slides the most costly weather event in B.C.'s history and estimated insured damage at $450 million, but said the bill will be much higher because much of the damage occurred in high-risk areas where flood insurance was not available.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan announced the creation of a joint committee of cabinet ministers to deal with flood repair and recovery earlier this month.

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