As Canadians feel the impacts of climate change-from extreme heat and wildfires to floods and storms-this is the moment to build resilient communities for a strong economy.
Today marks another important step forward to equip Canadians to face the mounting impacts of a changing climate. With the release of Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy: Building Resilient Communities and a Strong Economy for engagement and final consultations, the Government of Canada commits to a whole-of-society approach to climate adaptation. The Honourable Bill Blair, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, alongside the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, launched the Strategy while also announcing the federal government’s action and investment plan for the immediate future.
The announcement includes $1.6 billion in new federal funding commitments to help protect communities from coast to coast to coast. Funding will help municipalities and townships build public infrastructures of the future, such as roads and bridges, that can withstand flooding, make sure Canadians have access to the information they need to stay safe during wildfires, and enable engagement and work with Indigenous communities on the development of region-specific health initiatives linked to changing climate conditions. The additional funding builds on existing federal commitments to adaptation, disaster resilience, and disaster response that total more than $8 billion to date.
New federal funding will help implement the five priority areas of the Strategy:
- improving health and well-being
- building and maintaining resilient public infrastructure
- protecting and restoring nature and biodiversity
- supporting the economy and workers
- reducing the impacts of climate-related disasters
Through the first-of-its-kind Government of Canada Adaptation Action Plan, which outlines clear federal adaptation objectives and targets in order to focus policy and spending on measurable results, the federal government is delivering nearly 70 actions to address both immediate and future climate risks to Canada.
The funding announced today includes:
- a commitment to the Green Municipal Fund to help communities deploy funding in climate-focused projects to specific municipal needs of the future
- enhancing the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund to build more new structural and natural infrastructures to increase the resilience of communities
- developing the tools and data services Canadians need to access the right information and support experts with climate modelling and assessments
The strategy is now open to the provinces, territories, and National Indigenous Organizations for a final 90 days of engagement on the Strategy’s common goals and specific measurable targets and objectives. The Strategy is a result of extensive engagement since 2021 and presents a shared vision for climate resilience in the country and a framework to measure progress nationally.
Making adaptation investments now will have major economy-wide benefits later. Expert research suggests that every dollar invested in prevention and preparation can save up to 15 dollars in costs. Adapting to climate change requires all orders of government, the private sector, and Canadians, to work together to build resilient communities and a stronger economy, to ensure Canadians continue to thrive into the future.