The B.C. government announced it will provide a $10-million grant to support Avalanche Canada in a live-streamed press conference held on Monday, May 17.
B.C.’s Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth acknowledged the province’s varied and beautiful scenery attracts visitors from all over the world, but also carries with it some of nature’s most treacherous elements, one being avalanche risk.
“Approximately 75 per cent of Canada’s avalanche fatalities occur here in British Columbia and that is a heartbreaking statistic that we want to work with Avalanche Canada on improving,” Farnworth said.
Though Avalanche Canada’s services are delivered across the country, 90 per cent of their services are delivered here in B.C.
Avalanche Canada and its dedicated team of experts provide outreach, trip planning tools, terrain models and avalanche safety programs.
“That’s work that will help people right across B.C. and it’s work we’re proud to support,” Farnworth said. “As a government, we also understand the organization’s concern about the need for reliable funding support to be able to do their jobs well.”
The investment will allow the organization to provide more safety information and avalanche monitoring in B.C. improving public safety for all.
It will also allow them to leverage federal funding provided in 2019 to implement the National Avalanche Strategy.
“We are very grateful to the Government of B.C. for this funding,” said Gilles Valade, executive director with Avalanche Canada. “This ensures long-term sustainability for all our programs and allows us to expand our services to under-served regions of the province.”
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok has been advocating strongly for secure funding for Avalanche Canada for the past two years.
“I’m very pleased,” he said of the funding announcement. “It certainly takes some pressure off Avalanche Canada to get this funding.”
Learn more about the work done by the organization at www.avalanche.ca