The Government of Canada is helping Canadians understand and adapt to our changing climate
April 4, 2018 – Toronto, Ontario
The Government of Canada is committed to helping Canadians understand and adapt to the ways climate change is affecting our environment, communities, and economy. Investing in climate adaptation is essential as we work to reduce carbon pollution and ensure a safe and prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced in Toronto the Government of Canada’s work to create the Canadian Centre for Climate Services to provide reliable climate information, data, and tools as well as training and user support to help increase climate resilience across Canada.
The Centre is an important part of implementing the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. By providing detailed information about the projected impacts of climate change, under various emission scenarios, the Centre aims to ensure that all Canadians—from individual homeowners to municipal planners—can understand the climate-related risks they face and that they take action to address them.
Expected to launch in fall 2018, the Canadian Centre for Climate Services will encourage collaboration between the Government of Canada and provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, and other regional partners to help ensure Canadians are equipped to adapt to the impacts of climate change. To increase awareness of the impacts of climate change and encourage action, the Government of Canada provided a $1-million contribution to the Prairie Climate Centre’s ongoing development of the Climate Atlas of Canada.
The Atlas is a new interactive online tool developed by the University of Winnipeg’s Prairie Climate Centre to illustrate how climate change could affect communities across Canada. From Toronto to Regina to Victoria and beyond, the tool allows users to explore what unprecedented warming could mean for their towns, cities, or regions, in the decades ahead. From an increase in searing hot days and warmer nights, more precipitation, and fewer days below zero, the Atlas shows no region will remain untouched as Canada’s climate changes.
“The effects of climate change are already being experienced across Canada. The Government of Canada continues to invest in ensuring that Canadians understand the effects of climate change and that they are better prepared to adapt to our changing climate. Taking action now will put our country on track for a safer, more prosperous future for our kids and grandkids.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Our climate researchers are at the forefront of climate mapping, communications, and citizen engagement—nationally and internationally. Their work demonstrates the power of knowledge mobilization—a core, strategic pillar of our university—and how we translate research into action that benefits communities, policy-makers, and society as a whole.”
– Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Winnipeg
- The Government of Canada is preparing Canadians to adapt to climate change by investing
- $2 billion for a disaster mitigation and adaptation fund;
- $9.2 billion for bilateral infrastructure agreements with provinces and territories, including support for climate resilience; and
- $429.5 million to improve adaptation planning and action.
- Climate change is affecting the severity and frequency of extreme weather events that are having significant impacts on Canada’s communities and economy. For instance
- In early May 2017, a strong and prolonged precipitation event caused historic floods in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. The flooding caused thousands of people to be evacuated from their homes and even more were affected by the flooding. The response to the flooding required over 2 000 Canadian Armed Forces personnel to be deployed to assist in relief efforts.
- The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire displaced 90 000 people, destroyed approximately 2 400 homes and other buildings, and seriously disrupted the local economy. With insured losses in excess of $3.5 billion, this fire was the costliest insurable loss in Canada’s history.
- In March 2012, an unprecedented heat wave in Ontario caused fruit trees to blossom five weeks earlier than usual, and subsequent frosts in April destroyed approximately 80 percent of apple blossoms. Total losses for tender fruits that year were estimated at $100 million.
- Economic modelling from the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy indicates climate change could cost Canada’s economy $5 billion a year by 2020 and between $21 billion and $43 billion a year by 2050.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)