Announcing new committee to address extreme weather and climate resilience in British Columbia
It’s really a pleasure to be here tonight with Premier Horgan, to have an opportunity to talk directly to the people of British Columbia, to let you know that we are here for you, we will support you.
One of the things that John and I agreed on, and have always agreed on, is the need to have people's backs during tough times, and that's exactly what we've been focused on and exactly the work that we are doing. This afternoon when I got to visit Abbotsford and see so many of the extraordinary community volunteers, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, emergency responders and just leaders on the ground who are devastated and heartbroken but also stepping up to be there, not just for themselves but for their community, for their neighbours. It really does show the strength of British Columbians, the strength of Canadians, and that we're there for each other, we have each other's backs and that's what allows and enables your governments to do that as well.
Our first priority is to be there for people, which is why we've deployed over 500 Canadian Armed Forces members with helicopters and planes, almost $4.5 million straight to First Nations communities immediately to help them through this moment, and over $4 million for the Port of Vancouver. And as John just said, really pleased that the federal government and the provincial government are matching donations with the Red Cross, so $1 donated by you results in $3 of support for people on the ground who desperately need it.
So, as always, as Canadians are watching across this country and hearts are going out to folks who are working really, really hard to rebuild their lives and build a stronger future, send them your support; because this is what we do as Canadians, we’re there for each other.
The Premier and I spoke about the support that's needed, both right now and into the weeks and months and, yes, years to come, and we will be there, whether it's immediate support on saving livestock, supporting our farmers who have our backs year in and year out, we need to and will have theirs.
We met today, Minister Blair and Minister Farnsworth and I, met with frontline workers, the responders, and it's amazing to see the strength, the resilience, but also the pride of people who've been working long hours, back-breaking work as community volunteers, leaders, Armed Forces members being there for each other. But it's not going to be enough for us to just be there now and in the coming weeks, we’re going to need to be there for each other in the coming months and in the coming years.
Here in B.C., in Atlantic Canada where storms are raging now, everywhere across the country where extreme weather events are going to become more frequent, and the fight against climate change remains extraordinarily important, but the fight to build a better future, a resilient infrastructure in ways that is going to require our governments – municipal-provincial-federal-Indigenous – to work together always tighter and better, is going to be really important.
Which is why I'm so pleased that John and I have put forward a joint cabinet committee. that will deal with disaster response and climate resilience, to map out the way forward here in British Columbia and establish a model for how we're going to move forward as a country facing increasing challenges like this.
We've got a lot of work to do, but I can tell you one of the things that Canadians saw during this pandemic, particularly here in BC, which is when orders of government work together, as friends, as partners, focused on the single-minded goal of having Canadians’ backs, we can do it, and that's what we will continue to do.
We do need to address the long-term climate change problems, it can't be just about weather proofing homes – although that's an important piece – we have to make sure we're investing in communities, investing in our country, getting our country to net-zero, investing in support and indeed leadership by Indigenous communities whose traditional knowledge and approaches to challenging climate situations are well established, and need to be at the table, not just for themselves but for all of us.
These are the kinds of things that we need to do going forward and this is why governments grounded in science, in reason, in being there for each other, and compassion but also in strength while working together is what British Columbians deserve and what all Canadians deserve. So, I'm so pleased to be able to be with you here tonight, John, to continue this work.
We’ve got a lot of work to do, and we will do it. We’ll continue to be there for the people of British Columbia. We’ll continue to be there for a better future for everyone by fighting climate change, addressing the challenges we face today, and building a better future for everyone.
It’s a real pleasure to be here tonight alongside you John, great to be back in my second home in BC. Even if times are tough, we're going to get through this together.