A grant from the federal government for Avalanche Canada is topping $25 million to help the organization keep skiers and climbers safe from what it calls “Canada’s deadliest natural hazard.”

Ottawa said the money will be used to expand “the size and scope” of Avalanche Canada’s safety programs to new areas, including Northern B.C. and parts of Quebec, Newfoundland and the Yukon.

“Living in coastal B.C. so close to nature, and so close to the mountains is undoubtedly an incredible privilege. But, we know that Vancouverites, and Canadians across the country need access to the right information, training and protections, to safely enjoy everything that our amazing natural environment has to offer,” fisheries minister and North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson said Monday.

“Avalanche Canada is leading this charge not only here in B.C. but across the country, and I am so proud that our government is directly supporting their critical work.”

Avalanche Canada is a non-profit dedicated to improving avalanche awareness and safety across the country. The group has been receiving funding from the federal government since 2004. According to Ottawa, avalanches and landslides have caused more than 600 deaths in Canada since 1840, not to mention billions in property damage.

“The increasing popularity of backcountry sports combined with the increased frequency of extreme weather has made these events deadlier than ever.”

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