Senate concludes hearings on B.C. floods study
By Canadian Poultry magazineNews Emerging Trends climate change natural disasters
Committee chair calls for action on flood protection, climate change mitigation.
The Senate Committee on Agricultural and Forestry has concluded hearings for its study on the impact of the devastating 2021 floods on British Columbia’s agriculture industry and the federal and provincial governments’ response to the crisis.
In mid-November 2021, British Columbia’s Fraser Valley was hit by extreme flooding that lasted for several weeks. The floods inundated more than 15,000 hectares of land, affected more than 1,000 farms, killed livestock, and damaged farm machinery and infrastructure.
The committee has so far heard from mayors of affected municipalities in B.C. and the State of Washington, representatives of B.C. agriculture groups, Indigenous leaders, climate scientists, hydraulic engineers, and federal departments that support flood response and recovery efforts and that are tasked with emergency planning.
Key themes and concerns raised in witness testimony include: the science behind the 2021 floods; the extent of the damage caused by the flooding; the state of the region’s infrastructure; future risks; lessons learned from response and recovery efforts; and challenges related to government co-ordination, policy and program implementation.
The committee will prepare a report on the study with recommendations for the federal government, which it intends to release in the fall.
“The evidence and testimony presented to senators suggest the status quo in B.C.’s Fraser Valley is untenable,” says Senator Robert Black, chair of the committee.
“We will reserve specific findings and recommendations until the release of the committee’s report, but it is clear all levels of government need to act on flood protection and climate change mitigation.”
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