Natural disasters caught Canada by guard in 2021, which could happen again the next year. After a year noted by deadly heat domes, significant wildfires, and catastrophic flooding, Ottawa is being asked to do more to prepare Canadians for the disastrous effects of a more unstable and dangerous climate.
Few Canadian cities understand the cost of climate change more than Kamloops, B.C., which had temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius for nearly a week this summer, followed by major wildfires that forced hundreds of inhabitants to flee.
Months later, Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian commented on his city’s trying year and how he believes a lack of planning and infrastructure exacerbated the harm caused by the heat and flames.
“I think what’s missing is that whole support for local infrastructure and, some of the protective infrastructure,” Christian told CBC News. Further added, “We were not as prepared as we needed to be, and we hence had to look to both the government.”
According to a 2019 report by the federal government, Canada’s climate is warming twice quicker than the global average and thrice in the North. The rapidly changing climate is acknowledged — in the words of one government report — to be increasing “the frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme events like heat waves, wildfires, and floods.” The same is expected to continue for several decades, even if climate-warping emissions are reduced globally.
Ottawa hopes to complete its National Adaptation Strategy, a broad set of policies and procedures to increase Canada’s climate resilience, in 2022 to better cope with the effects of climate change. The government began working on the plan in the spring of 2021, and the final report is expected in the fall of 2022.
Source: CBC News