The City of Vancouver recently received a 100RC (Resilient City) grant from Rockefeller Foundation. The money is primarily to pay the salary of the Chief Resilience Officer- Katie McPherson. Her job description is fairly fluid with as much or more focus on socio-economic crises like homelessness, poverty and climate change than severe weather or earthquakes. Vancouver joins 99 other large cities around the world in receiving the grants including Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.
As much as the holistic approach might seem somewhat inexact, it is in line with Vision Vancouver and Mayor Gregor Robertson's general governing approach and for the most part, it appears to come without any strings attached - so why would the City say no?
The challenge in British Columbia will be to coordinate the City of Vancouver's approach with other groups like Emergency Preparedness BC and federal agencies like Public Safety Canada. In addition, Vancouver is only one of many cities and stakeholders in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Port Metro Vancouver, Greater Vancouver Regional District (Metro Vancouver) TransLink and others have a significant interest in emergency preparedness and earthquake preparation in particular.
Even better than the Rockefeller Foundation giving the City of Vancouver a grant might be if the City shared the Resiliency Officer position with all the Metro Vancouver municipalities. This would ensure a coordinated municipal response to emergency planning in the region.
Diarmuid D. O'Dea