Many of us rely on the daily reports from Avalanche Canada to stay safe in the backcountry during the snowy months.
The B.C.-based association gives daily avalanche forecasts for most of Western Canada, gives training and seminars and does a lot more.
Avalanche Canada, described as a a non-profit organization dedicated to improving avalanche awareness and safety, has just been promised $25 million in funding from the federal government. The funding comes at a much needed time.
The funds money, a one-time endowment for 2018/19, was announced during Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s autumn update.
“Anybody who goes into the backcountry will tell you about the growth of use in our winter backcountry,” said Mary Clayton with Avalanche Canada.
“We reached a tipping point, and we were at a point where we were going to have to cut services unless we could do something about our resources, so this is going to make a big difference.
“We’re a central point of contact for all things about avalanche safety, so we definitely save lives. We’re very grateful for this funding and the public recognition that avalanche safety is important and worthy of support.”
In 1998, Justin Trudeau’s brother, Michel, died in an avalanche in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park.
“Canada’s beautiful parks and cold winters make it an ideal location to enjoy winter sports,” read a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
“To make the most of our winter seasons, Canadians should be provided with the awareness and training required to safely enjoy winter sports, including preventing avalanche-related fatalities and injuries.”