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New funding for Avalanche Canada will help keep people safe in Kootenays — MLA Brittny Anderson

Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson said a significant portion of both of those figures happens in the Kootenays and this grant will allow Avalanche Canada to expand its regional forecasts to under-served regions in B.C.

Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson is welcoming $10 million in funding to support Avalanche Canada.

In a media release, first-time MLA Anderson, said the funding will go toward developing and delivering avalanche safety and awareness throughout the province’s mountainous regions. 

“People in our region love to enjoy the outdoors all year round,” Anderson said.

“We also know that, in the winter, the risk of avalanche is very real in our beautiful mountains.”

About 75% of all Canadian avalanche fatalities occur in B.C., and about 90% of Avalanche Canada’s services are delivered in this province. 

Anderson said a significant portion of both of those figures happens in the Kootenays and this grant will allow Avalanche Canada to expand its regional forecasts to under-served regions in B.C., increase its delivery of avalanche safety training for youth and provide more programs for winter recreationists of all types. 

“I’m really glad this funding will be going toward keeping our residents, and visitors when we welcome them back, safe in the backcountry,” Anderson said. 

 Avalanche Canada, a non-government, not-for-profit organization dedicated to public avalanche safety, issues free daily avalanche forecasts throughout the winter for much of the mountainous regions of western Canada.

Avalanche Canada also coordinates and delivers avalanche awareness and education programs, provide curriculum and support to instructors of the Avalanche Canada Training programs, act as a central point-of-contact for avalanche information, and work closely with many different avalanche research projects, both at home and abroad. 

This investment will also allow Avalanche Canada to leverage the 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, Avalanche Canada. “This ensures long-term sustainability for all our programs and allows us to expand our services to underserved regions of the province.”