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Protecting People and Property: Ontario's Flooding Strategy

Backgrounder

Protecting People and Property: Ontario's Flooding Strategy

Ontario's Flooding Strategy outlines the province's next steps to reduce flood risk and help Ontarians be better prepared for flooding events.

The strategy is a comprehensive government-wide approach to flooding and includes the following actions:

  • increasing public access to current and timely information to better understand flood risks and how to prepare for flooding events.
  • using improved future rainfall prediction data in long-term transportation infrastructure planning.
  • reviewing the outcomes of Ontario's Build-Back-Better pilot project under the Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance program.
  • establishing a multi-partner flood mapping technical team to participate in a review of current flood mapping technical guides.
  • working with the federal government to ensure Ontario's continued access to national funding programs.

Since the spring of 2019, the Ontario government has taken significant steps to help protect people and property from flooding, including:
  • obtaining new specialized software for emergency preparedness and response to better track, report and manage incidents and emergencies in the province. 
  • updating key provincial policies, such as the provision of sandbags to municipalities, First Nations and unorganized territories during a flooding emergency. 
  • engaging municipalities, watershed partners and other key stakeholders in Muskoka, Magnetawan and Upper Ottawa River areas on key water management and operational decisions.
  • proceeding with a climate change impact assessment to better understand how climate change affects Ontario. 
  • launching a $1 million pilot project under the Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance program to help eligible municipalities impacted by spring flooding (after March 31, 2019) rebuild damaged infrastructure.
  • expediting the approvals process for property owners to repair flood-related damage to shorelines.

QUOTES

"We thank the province for taking this action to address flooding. Municipal governments and our communities are not in this alone. This approach rightly points to improved collaboration between all governments and conservation authorities to protect people and property."
- Jamie McGarvey, President, Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO)

"In response to last year's devastating floods, we piloted a 'build back better' program through our Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance to improve municipal flood resiliency. By not having to rebuild the same washed-out road or bridge over and over again, municipalities strengthen public safety and save money in the long term. The recently released Provincial Policy Statement, 2020, also includes changes to help make Ontario more resilient to flooding."
- Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

"Our government is committed to protecting our natural environment, communities, businesses and municipalities from the costs and impacts of climate change, such as more frequent extreme weather events and flooding. Working together, we will strengthen our resilience to the impacts of climate change in a way that maintains a healthy environment and a healthy economy."
- Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

"The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre actively monitors flood watches and warnings across Ontario. Our emergency officials are in regular contact with all communities when they are affected by flooding to offer support and assistance if needed. Everyone contributes to a safe, secure and resilient Ontario and I encourage everyone to review their emergency plan and refresh their 72-hour emergency kit, so you are prepared in the event of an emergency, such as local flooding."
-  Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General of Ontario 

"Keeping people and communities safe from flooding is a top priority for our government. Ontario's Flooding Strategy contains a series of actions that will help our province be prepared and more resilient when flood events occur."
- Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation

"This strategy underscores the importance of increasing flood risk awareness and preparedness among impacted First Nations communities. It also demonstrates our commitment to working collaboratively across government and with our partners to build Ontario's flood resiliency and to protecting First Nations people and communities."
- Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs

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