Two weeks after the UCP’s first-ever provincial budget was unveiled, the Kenney government offered new details on money it intends to spend on flood mitigation projects in Alberta’s two largest cities.
The 2019 budget includes over $43 million for 15 “flood resilience projects” across the province and on Friday, a press secretary for Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon sent out emails on specific projects pertaining to Calgary and Edmonton.
“Budget 2019 includes $15 million for the City of Calgary for the downtown flood barrier and Upper Plateau stormwater separation project,” spokesperson Jess Sinclair said. “Funding for these projects is provided through the Alberta Community Resilience Program.”
The flood barrier in Calgary will stretch from the West Eau Claire flood barrier to Reconciliation Bridge as part of a plan to protect that city’s downtown core. The Upper Plateau project will “separate the stormwater system from the community of Sunnyside-Hillhurst to help prevent flooding and backflow during high water events.”
“The devastating effects of the 2013 floods are still fresh for so many people in Calgary,” Nixon said. “I am proud that Budget 2019 includes funding for these two critical projects that will improve public safety and reduce property damage in downtown Calgary and other communities along the Bow River.”
In Edmonton, the government has pledged over $5 million to help the City of Edmonton protect the Rossdale and E.L. Smith water treatment plants “from high flows on the North Saskatchewan River.”
The money will be used to relocate “critical instrumentation, mechanical and electrical equipment above predicted flood levels,” the government said, ensuring the plants will be able to stay online in the event of a flood.