Avalanche Canada gets $10 million from province
Avalanche Canada is receiving a $10-million contribution from the B.C. government to support its vital work in developing and delivering avalanche safety and awareness for the province’s mountainous regions.
“Avalanche Canada has been advocating for funding certainty for a number of years, and this grant responds to that need,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The work Avalanche Canada does is vital to our public safety, particularly as interest in winter recreation grows and as the frequency of extreme weather increases due to climate change. I’m pleased we are able to work with this organization to support its important work.”
About 75% of all Canadian avalanche fatalities occur in B.C., and about 90% of Avalanche Canada’s services are delivered in this province. This grant will allow Avalanche Canada to expand its regional forecasts to underserved regions in B.C., increase its delivery of avalanche safety training for youth and provide more programs for winter recreationists of all types.
This investment will also allow Avalanche Canada to leverage the federal funding provided in 2019 to implement the National Avalanche Strategy.
“This ensures long-term sustainability for all our programs and allows us to expand our services to under-served regions of the province,” said Gilles Valade, Executive Director of Avalanche Canada.
“I also want to thank the MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke, Doug Clovechok. Doug is our local MLA and has been a strong and consistent champion for funding public avalanche safety. We’re grateful for his service to this cause.”
In turn, Clovechok said he is pleased to see yesterday’s announcement of a $10 million investment in Avalanche Canada, which has seen its funding sources challenged in recent years.
“After two years of expressing my concerns to the Minister through budget and estimate debates and letters to the NDP government, I am thrilled that Avalanche Canada will be provided with the sustainable and annual funding it deserves. This national organization serves the entire country, but has 95% of its forecasting stations located in B.C., and spends 80% of its budget here in the province,” he stated.
This investment will now allow Avalanche Canada to obtain federal funding committed for the expansion and stabilization of programs.
Avalanche Canada is a non-government, not-for-profit organization dedicated to public avalanche safety. It issues free daily avalanche forecasts throughout the winter for much of the mountainous regions of western Canada, co-ordinates and delivers avalanche awareness and education programs, provides curriculum and support to instructors of the Avalanche Canada Training programs, acts as a central point of contact for avalanche information and works closely with many different avalanche research projects, at home and abroad.