MLAs Singh and Whiteside say support for evacuation route planning will make New Westminster safer

NEW WESTMINSTER – New Democrat MLAs Aman Singh and Jennifer Whiteside are welcoming the announcement of $22,000 in funding to support the planning and development of an emergency evacuation route for the city.

“Because of its location, Queensborough is at a higher risk for a flooding emergency,” said Aman Singh, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough. “We are making sure this evacuation plan considers the needs of the most vulnerable people in our community, so that everyone can get out of harm’s way calmly and safely in the event of an emergency.”

A grant of $22,000 is going to New Westminster so that the city can be better prepared in the event of an emergency that requires evacuation. The planning will identify the safest means of transportation as well as their capacity and direction under certain potential emergency situations, early warning systems or other emergency notification tools, and the anticipated speed of local hazards.

“Nobody wants to imagine an emergency occurring in our community, but it is essential that we are prepared,” said Jennifer Whiteside, MLA for New Westminster. “The Evacuation Route Plan will help identify possible challenges like choke points on our roads and ensure alternate routes will be in place for people.”

This grant is one of 28 dispersing over $1 million to prepare British Columbians in municipalities and First Nations for a potential evacuation. It is all part of the province’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF), which has disbursed over $60 million to every corner of the province to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate against any number of natural disasters people in B.C. may face.

The CEPF is a suite of programs designed to enhance the resiliency of local governments, First Nations communities and their residents. The Province provides the funding, which is administered by the Union of B.C. Municipalities and divided into seven streams:

  • Flood Risk Assessment, Flood Mapping and Flood Mitigation Planning
  • Emergency Support Services
  • Emergency Operations Centres & Training
  • Structural Flood Mitigation
  • Evacuation Route Planning
  • Indigenous Cultural Safety & Cultural Humility Training
  • Volunteer & Composite Fire Departments Equipment & Training

The next deadlines to apply for this program are:

  • Emergency Operations Centres & Training – March 26, 2021

More information on how to apply can be found on the UBCM website.

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