Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada
Government of British Columbia

Government of British Columbia

June 13, 2008 14:52 ET

Natural Resources Canada: Canada, B.C. Send China $8 Million for Recovery, Reconstruction

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 13, 2008) - British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell and the Honourable Gary Lunn, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a two-phase, $8-million project to provide temporary and permanent wood-frame buildings to help survivors of the recent earthquake in China.

"Millions of people in China have seen their homes and much of their critical infrastructure devastated by the earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks," said Premier Campbell. "This collaborative project will provide support to address both the immediate and long-term housing needs of the Chinese people, while demonstrating the quality of B.C. wood products."

The project is a collaborative effort between the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia. B.C. will provide $5 million and the Government of Canada will contribute $3 million.

"Today's announcement is another example of governments and industry working together to address global early-recovery and reconstruction needs," said Minister Lunn. "Canada is committed to supporting China in the aftermath of this tragedy."

Phase one of the project involves constructing temporary wood-frame housing units to help address the immediate housing needs in the areas affected by the earthquake. This phase will be supported through a combined contribution of $1.4 million by the governments of Canada and B.C. Phase two of the project involves constructing permanent wood-frame housing and other facilities, including a school and community centre. The governments of Canada and B.C. will provide $2.3 million and $4.3 million respectively for this phase.

"On behalf of the Chinese Consulate in Vancouver, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for this generous assistance to the people of the quake-hit area," said Mr. Yang, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Vancouver. "The Chinese people will always remember the support from their Canadian friends at their most difficult time."

As well, long-term Canada-China research partnerships will be established under the current Canada-China bilateral Science and Technology Agreement. Administered by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the partnerships will focus on developing and applying earthquake-resistant construction technology to meet the needs of China's affected areas.

"Canada's Government knows the value of scientific and technological cooperation between our two countries. By pulling together scientific, technical and engineering expertise from across all sectors in Canada and China, we can help avoid and mitigate the tragic human, economic and environmental impact of earthquake disasters," said the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

Made from 100-percent Canadian wood, these energy-efficient structures will be assembled in China. Research has shown that wood-frame buildings are a highly suitable construction choice for earthquake-prone regions because of their adaptability and seismic stability.

Delivery of the short-term shelters will begin immediately, with the goal of completing stage one in August 2008. Delivery of the permanent housing and related buildings is expected to begin in the spring of 2009.

Forestry Innovation Investment, China-based staff of the Canada Wood Group, and Canada's forest industry will provide on-the-ground expertise. Staff from these organizations will work with Chinese government officials and local design and construction experts to implement the project, provide technical construction training and ensure the housing units meet local needs.

"This contribution of funds utilizing B.C. and Canadian wood will not only help the Chinese people rebuild their homes and their communities but also demonstrate the benefits and merits of wood-frame technology," said Rich Coleman, Minister of Forests and Range and Minister Responsible for Housing.

The China Wood-Frame Housing Project complements other Canadian efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake. Earlier in May, the Government of Canada announced it will match the generosity of Canadians with the establishment of the Sichuan Earthquake Relief Fund. As well, on May 16 Canada announced a $1-million contribution to support the emergency response of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), helping to provide emergency shelter, medical services and relief items. In addition, 700 tents were delivered to China from Canada's emergency-relief stockpile on June 2 for distribution by the IFRC to affected families.

The B.C. Government contributed $2 million to the Red Cross and has committed to matching the funds donated at the B.C. Canada Pavilion in Beijing.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn today announced a two-phase, $8-million project to provide temporary and permanent wood-frame buildings to help survivors of the recent earthquake in China. The Canadian assistance will help with both the immediate and long-term housing needs of the Chinese quake victims.

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

Contact Information

  • Media:
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Bernadette Murphy
    A/Director of Communications
    613-996-2007
    or
    Province of British Columbia
    Office of the Premier
    Bridgitte Anderson
    Press Secretary
    604-307-7177
    or
    The general public may contact:
    Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p. EDT
    613-995-0947
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    questions@nrcan.gc.ca