The Lower Mainland Flood Management Strategy will include a broad, holistic vision as well as a series of recommendations on:
- Regional priorities
- Risk reduction options and
- Funding and decision-making approaches.
Implementation of the regional Flood Strategy and its recommendations will involve many additional steps. In particular, it is recognized that the Flood Strategy process needs to continue to support and enhance First Nations engagement and participation both in the development and implementation stages.
The breadth and depth of consensus among Flood Strategy partners and decision makers will significantly influence the scope of recommendations within the Flood Strategy as well as available funding and the timeline for implementation.
If there is strong support, broad consensus and solid commitment by all orders of government, implementation is anticipated to proceed in a timely and effective manner. If the degree of consensus is moderate, or if there are areas of contention, further dialogue and analysis may be required to support Flood Strategy implementation.
The intention is for a Flood Strategy to be finalized by early 2021 and for partners to then take steps for implementation.
Next steps in Flood Strategy implementation would be expected to include:
Formalize a Funding Program – Some risk reduction measures, such as land use policy and public education, have relatively little cost. However, major upgrades to flood protection infrastructure have high capital costs and will require a dedicated, secured and long-term funding program to assist local authorities.
Confirm or Refine Decision-making Processes: Formal decision-making processes are required for project review and approval.
Finalize Priorities and Actions – Flood Strategy partners design and implement regional, sub-regional and local-scale policies, practices and projects for flood risk reduction.
Determine Roles and Responsibilities – A regional Flood Strategy could potentially be delivered entirely through existing jurisdictions and arrangements. However, it is anticipated that there may be one or more strategic coordinating roles for implementation that would be delivered through a regional, collaborative entity. If so, administrative arrangements would need to be formalized, resources secured, and enabling legislation developed and put in place as needed.
Respect Legal Requirements in Decision-Making – Proposed projects would be reviewed in regards to environmental regulations, First Nations interests and consent, and applicable legislation and regulations.
Government of BC Initiatives
There are several initiatives currently underway that may influence the timeline and approach for Flood Strategy implementation.
Some key Government of BC legislative and other initiatives include:
- Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act
- Legislative review and modernization of BC’s Emergency Program Act
- BC Flood Risk Strategy
- BC Climate Adaptation and Preparedness Strategy
These examples are opportunities for Flood Strategy implementation. These and other provincial or federal initiatives could influence the scope of the Flood Strategy, as well as the timing, approach and available resources for implementation.