Trudeau announces committee to shape flood recovery efforts in B.C. | CBC News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the formation of a new federal committee to manage British Columbia’s recovery from the recent flooding and deadly mudslides.

Trudeau made the announcement at a news conference alongside B.C. Premier John Horgan in Victoria on Friday evening, at the end of his first trip to the province following the extensive flooding two weeks ago.

The committee will be co-chaired by Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair and B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, with other committee members to be announced later. It will also include Indigenous representatives.

Trudeau said he hopes the committee will also shape the response to future extreme events.

Hundreds of people remain displaced by the floods, with highways damaged and supply chains choked heading into another weekend of storms.

Trudeau visited the community of Abbotsford, southeast of Vancouver, earlier on Friday, viewing flood damage first-hand and talking to local officials, first responders and First Nations’ leadership.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the flood-stricken community of Abbotsford, B.C., earlier on Friday, looking at flood damage first-hand and talking to local officials and First Nations leaders. (Jennifer Gauthier/Reuters)

Donations to Red Cross 

Trudeau and Horgan also announced that the provincial and federal governments will be matching donations to the Canadian Red Cross’s flood fundraising campaign for 30 days starting Friday.

That means every $1 donated will be tripled to $3, with the governments also retroactively matching every donation since the campaign started on Nov. 17.

The Red Cross and the province of British Columbia had earlier partnered to offer $2,000 to British Columbians who were ordered to evacuate their homes from Nov. 14 to 16 due to flooding.

This is in addition to the Disaster Financial Assistance available to those affected. To access these supports, displaced British Columbians need to register with the Red Cross by calling 1-800-863-6582, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. PT.

In addition to the donation campaign, the federal government had earlier dispatched soldiers to help with flood recovery in B.C. and also provided emergency financial assistance to help alleviate pressure on the supply chain.

Even as announcements were made to help the province rebuild from flood damage, more rain threatens to worsen the impact.

Up to 120 millimetres of rain has been forecast to fall over the weekend.

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