REVELSTOKE, B.C. – Winter backcountry recreationists recently received some good news from Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau at his fall economic statement, presented in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov 21, including a one-time endowment of $25 million to Avalanche Canada.
“We are very grateful for this funding, and especially for the recognition that public avalanche safety is worthy of support,” said Gilles Valade, Executive Director of Avalanche Canada. “The federal government has made a significant commitment to this cause. We hope the provinces involved in avalanche safety are able to follow this lead.”
With winter backcountry use in Canada continuing to grow and not being affected by the massive increase in usage, the average number of avalanche fatalities in Canada has declined and stabilized over the past 14 years. The programs and services Avalanche Canada provides is an invaluable “safety net” for winter tourism in mountainous regions.
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“Avalanche Canada has world-leading programs and we are pleased that we are now starting to be funded as world leaders,” adds Valade. “We are grateful to Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government for leading the way. We look forward to working with the provinces to ensure this funding announcement is the beginning of long-term sustainability for public avalanche safety.”
Avalanche Canada is non-profit and non-government; it was established in 2004 to be the national public avalanche safety organization. Avalanche Canada:
- Provides daily public avalanche forecasts for many of the mountainous regions of western Canada. In terms of area, this is the largest avalanche forecasting program in the world by far.
- Develops and coordinates public avalanche safety education.
- Delivers youth awareness and training seminars.
- Creates and delivers avalanche safety programs for specific user groups.
- Contributes to snow safety research.