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Tories, NDP call for House of Commons to have emergency debate on B.C. floods

MPs: debate could send a message to B.C. that the federal government is ‘seized with this crisis’
Flood waters cover highway 1 in Abbotsford, B.C., Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The Conservatives and the NDP want an emergency debate in the House of Commons this week on the floods wreaking havoc in British Columbia.

B.C. is bracing for more extreme weather a week after an “atmospheric river” pummelled the province with heavy rains triggering deadly mudslides and widespread flooding.

The province is working as fast as it can to rebuild and repair highways, bridges and rail lines washed out by floodwaters in what some experts estimate will turn out to be the most expensive weather event in Canadian history.

Conservative B.C. MPs Ed Fast and Dan Albas say an emergency debate on rebuilding B.C. following the disaster could send a message to British Columbians that the federal government is “seized with this crisis.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his party is going to request an emergency debate on the need to take faster action to combat climate change but also to better prepare provinces for the extreme weather that’s expected to become more common.

The House of Commons is sitting this week for the first time since June and with nearly all MPs present in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020.

—Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

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