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Avalanche Canada to expand safety services in B.C. with $10 million provincial grant

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The British Columbia government is providing a $10-million grant to a not-for-profit organization dedicated to avalanche safety.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the grant will support the work of Avalanche Canada in its ongoing efforts to develop and deliver avalanche safety and awareness in the B.C.’s mountain regions.

Read more: Avalanche warning for backcountry users in Alberta, B.C. Rockies

He says the grant allows the Revelstoke-based service to expand its regional avalanche forecasts and safety training programs for people using the outdoors in winter.

Farnworth says 75 per cent of all avalanche fatalities in Canada occur in B.C. and 90 per cent of Avalanche Canada’s services are delivered in the province.

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“Avalanche Canada has been advocating for funding certainty for a number of years, and this grant responds to that need,” said Farnworth.

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“The work Avalanche Canada does is vital to our public safety, particularly as interest in winter recreation grows and as the frequency of extreme weather increases due to climate change. I’m pleased we are able to work with this organization to support its important work.”

Read more: Avalanche near Valemount claims life of B.C. backcountry skier: RCMP

Gilles Valade, Avalanche Canada’s executive director, says the funding will allow it to expand its services to underserved regions.

“We are very grateful to the Government of B.C. for this funding,” said Valade.

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“This ensures long-term sustainability for all our programs and allows us to expand our services to underserved regions of the province.”

Avalanche Canada issues daily forecasts throughout the winter to much of the mountain regions of Western Canada and supports education, awareness and training programs.

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