Alberta invests millions in flood protection projects across province

The Alberta government has announced investments in flood mitigation projects across the province.

CALGARY — The Alberta government has announced investments in flood mitigation projects across the province.

Premier Rachel Notley outlined $25 million in grants at a news conference on the banks of the Bow River in downtown Calgary.

The money is to go toward flood mitigation projects in Calgary, Drumheller, Chestermere, Turner Valley, the Siksika First Nation and the Municipal District of Bighorn No. 8.

The province also announced $17 million for seven municipalities in southern Alberta and $6.5 million in grants to the city of Medicine Hat for flood barriers.

Much of southern Alberta was deluged in 2013 and the Insurance Bureau of Canada has pegged it the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says that in addition to making communities more resilient to flooding, the projects will help put people to work during the economic downturn.

“This stuff’s really expensive, but it’s even more expensive not to do it,” he said.

Notley indicated there will be more announcements.

“The 2013 floods brought out the best in Albertans and now the best thing governments can do is reduce the threat of future flooding,” she said.

“Nature is unpredictable and we can never assume that we’ve tamed its raw power. We can only try to channel it in another direction.”

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