Monday, April 11, 2016
What? In the Globe & Mail?
In today's G&M, the CEO of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Don Forgeron, asks why our federal government is doing next to nothing to prepare the country for severe climate change impacts. Good question.
The numbers are harrowing: The PBO predicts that storms, hurricanes and floods linked to climate change will cost the federal disaster fund $900-million annually over the coming five years. That compares to an average of just $54-million a year (in adjusted 2014 dollars) for the period between 1970 and 1994.
That $900-million-a-year estimate is well in excess of what the federal government has currently set aside to deal with such events.
Floods are expected to cause the bulk of the damage, largely as a result of multiple-day rainfalls across the Prairies and Rockies. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) recently mapped the flood risk to people across the country and found that 19 per cent of Canadian households are at some level of risk.
And yet Canada is the only Group of Seven country without a national flood program. Many people in high-risk areas find it difficult or impossible to purchase flood insurance. As a country, we therefore remain exposed to the safety challenges and financial costs that will invariably accompany severe weather threats.
It seems Mr. Forgeron didn't get the memo that Canada is a petro-state, the sort of nation that pays lip service to climate change but very little else just in case people might begin asking inconvenient questions such as why we're hell bent on pushing high-carbon bitumen onto world markets. Who needs that hassle? Now, nothing to see here, move along.