Budget boosts action plan on flooding

April 26 —THE FEDERAL government continued to implement its promised National Action Plan on Flooding with several measures in the recent spring budget announcement.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada noted that  the government has now committed to spending $1.4bn over 12 years to extend the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund with roughly half of the amount dedicated to smaller-scale projects.

Another $63.8m will be allocated over three years to Natural Resources Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Public Safety Canada to work with provinces and territories to finish flood maps for higher-risk areas.

The government has also pledged $4.4bn for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. to provide interest-free loans up to a maximum of $40,000 to help homeowners complete home retrofits to improve energy efficiency and climate resilience.

And $200m is to be spent over three years by Infrastructure Canada to establish an infrastructure fund to support natural and hybrid projects.

In addition, Finance Canada has allocated funding for several other climate adaptation measures. They include:

■ $28.7m to improve wildfire risk mapping in northern Canada;

■ $1.9bn to support provincial and territorial emergency management through disaster financial assistance arrangements;

■ $11.7m over five years for the Standards Council of Canada to continue updating standards and guidance in priority areas such as flood mapping and building in the North to help communities plan and build roads, buildings and other infrastructure that is more durable and resilient to climate change;

■ $22.6m over four years for Infrastructure Canada to conduct the country’s first ever national infrastructure assessment to identify needs and priorities, and

■ $36.2m over five years for Environment and Climate Change Canada to develop and apply a climate lens that ensures adaptation and mitigation considerations are integrated throughout federal government decision-making.

“We applaud the signature investments that will increase resilience to flooding — which is our greatest climate-related threat.” IBC federal affairs VP Craig Stewart said.

Glenn McGillivray, managing director at the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, also said the budget is good news from a climate change perspective, citing new investments coming to develop standards for infrastructure and funding for flood mapping and wildfire risk reduction efforts.

“All in all, it is good to see that these topics remain front and centre, and ICLR commends this government for its attention to these and other climate-related initiatives,” he said.

(For more independent coverage of Canadian p&c industry news and trends, please choose the ‘Subscribe’ tab on our main page or email mpub@rogers.com for more information).