HealthADAPT: Digital case stories (Described videos)

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HealthADAPT: Department of Health and Social Services, Government of the NWT


Zoe Guile:

Text on screen reads “HealthADAPT – ADAPTATIONSante.” On a blue background we see six icons depicting a conversation, a heart, a leaf, a hospital, people, and a magnifying glass. The Health Canada logo appears at the bottom.

A second screen reads; “Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services”, along with the logo and a map of the Northwest Territories.

On screen is Zoe Guile, Climate Change Program Coordinator, Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Health”. 

Hello, I'm Zoe Guile, the Climate Change Program Coordinator for the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services.

Zoe is speaking outside.  

I'm located in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and I'm going to be talking about our project with HealthADAPT, which is called “Understanding Health Risks from Climate Change in the Northwest Territories and Building Local Capacity for Successful Adaptations”.

Text on screen: “Understanding Health Risks from Climate Change in the Northwest Territories and Building Local Capacity for Successful Adaptations”.

Our project aims to create a comprehensive assessment of health risks which are posed by climate change in the NWT, and this includes adaptive capacity, key vulnerabilities, and the scope and magnitude of expected impacts to health and wellbeing.

Video shows a panned out overhead view of a small town depicting trees, colourful buildings, and water.

Screen goes back to Zoe speaking.

Text on screen as bullet points read, “Adaptive Capacity”, “Key vulnerabilities” and “Scope and magnitude of impacts”

Our assessment looks at all regions and communities across our territory.

Video shows panned out overhead view of a snowy community on a hill as the sun sets along the horizon.

Using the results of the assessment, we'll develop a detailed Health and Social Services Department Action Plan and engage key stakeholders to support improved adaptation in NWT communities and in the Government.

Video clips of someone looking through documents and entering values into a calculator on a tablet, followed by an overhead shot of a teacher sitting down with two students playing with wooden blocks.  

Our hope is that this will help people in the NWT to be more resilient to the changes we're already seeing in our climate and to those which will inevitably occur in the future. 

A clip of a panning overhead video over snowy mountains.

Through completing our project, we learned some key lessons.

A photo of a snowy landscape at sunset with a dog looking off into the distance. 

While climate change is definitely an urgent issue, we need to be able to slow down and do robust baselining work. We also need to do planning and engagement and that's what we work to do through our climate change risk project.

Text on screen. Title reads, “Key Lessons”. Bullet points appear below one at a time that read, “Climate change is an urgent issue, but slow down to do baseline work” and “Importance of planning and engagement”

We're now looking forward to taking action on what we've learned through this project and the climate change and health assessment, specifically. 

Zoe speaking.

We also encountered some challenges. We had hoped to engage more thoroughly with communities through in person meetings, but travel is a definite challenge at this time, so we've managed to engage through some online meetings which definitely informed our work, but we hope to continue to do more engagement in the future. 

A clip of two individuals collaborating and adjusting sticky notes on a wall, followed by a clip of an individual sitting at their desk on a video call with four other people.

Climate change and health adaptation is happening across the territory, and also by the Department of Health in many ways. However, this project has allowed us to focus on climate change and health, and to identify areas that need specific attention.

An image of snowy mountains and evergreen trees in the distance, followed by a clip of a nurse helping an older adult walk up the stairs outside.

It has also allowed us to create a bridge between health and climate, and we've also created some really successful collaborations across departments in the Government of the Northwest Territories and with other organizations and communities. 

Screen shows Zoe speaking, then transitions to a picture of an individual walking alongside the road in snowy weather.

Next steps for us include developing a monitoring system, to continue to expand our baseline knowledge of the impacts of climate change on health, and to also start specifically planning for climate adaptation actions with communities in the territory.  More next steps for us include working to integrate traditional and local knowledge into the assessment, which will give adaptation actions the best possible chance to succeed.

Text appears on screen with title, “Next Steps”. One-by-one, numbered points appear that read “Developing a monitoring system”, “Planning adaptation actions” and “Integrating traditional and local knowledge”.

If I was going to give some advice to other health authorities who are embarking on climate change and health work, it would be to have a very thorough list of stakeholders and to engage with them throughout the entirety of the project.

A clip of two business professionals in discussion at a table, followed by a clip of a speaker at an indoor conference with audience members listening.

Also, to work with experts and be in touch with people who have already done similar work, and I know lots of those people within the HealthADAPT group that would be happy to help. I’d also remind people that it can be emotional work and to make sure that you're checking in on each other and to remember that you're actively being part of the solution and part of making a better future where we can be resilient to climate change.

Zoe speaking.

Text on screen: “With a special thank you to Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services” and the logo for Northwest Territories.

HealthADAPT: York Region Public Health


Text on screen reads “HealthADAPT – ADAPTATIONSante.” On a blue background we see six icons depicting a conversation, a heart, a leaf, a hospital, people, and a magnifying glass. The Health Canada logo appears at the bottom. A second screen reads “York Region Public Health”, the York Region logo, and map of Canada with a location marker on York, Ontario.

The third screen reads, “Asim Qasim Manager Health Protection, York Region Public Health.

Asim Qasim:

Hi, my name is Asim Qasim and I work for the regional municipality of York, located in Southern Ontario and right now, I'm the acting manager within the Healthy Environments team, which is part of York Region Public Health.

On screen is Asim Qasim, a Manager at York Region Public Health. Asim is speaking inside.

So in 2021, York Region Public Health had completed a climate change and health vulnerability assessment. So, there are few key findings that we took from this.

Pictured is the cover of the ‘York Region Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment.’ And three images. A flooded road with cars nearly under water and a fire truck unable to pass, a close-up of a tick, and a child outdoors drinking water and appearing to be sweating in the heat.

Firstly, it showed how complex of an issue climate change and health is, particularly when you look at all the different ways climate change could impact health, direct and indirect, and all the different types of issues you need to think of. Secondly, it also showed that the issues that we are facing are not just an issue in future, but an issue for today to deal with as well. So it showed a need for us to work on this issue now.

Text on screen: Vulnerability Assessment Key Findings. Bullet points read, “climate change and health is a complex issue, there is a need to address the issue now, there are remaining knowledge gaps”.

That being said, when it came to the assessment, we still felt there was gaps to better understand what the community needs were, what the community perspectives on climate change were, and how to better focus our resources to really build a resilient community to the impacts of climate change.

Clip of busy park area with people having picnics under trees.

So we initiated our HealthADAPT project, which we called “Bridging the Gap: Engaging York Region Residents and Stakeholders to Build Climate-Resilient Communities.”

Text on screen: ‘Bridging the Gap: Engaging York Region Residents and Stakeholders to Build Climate Resilient Communities.’

As a result of COVID, we had to revise the scope of our work, but we really focused on two key surveys.

A clip of people wearing masks walking on a sidewalk, then text on screen that reads, “Climate Change knowledge, attitudes and practices resident survey”

One was the “Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices” survey, which was directed at York Region residents, which really tried to get an understanding of the perception of climate change, particularly relating to health.

Picture of a diverse group of people smiling against a brick wall.

The second piece as well was doing a stakeholder survey

Text on screen: “climate change adaptation priorities stakeholder survey”

so these were stakeholders that engage with vulnerable populations and would give us some good insight in terms of how we can support these communities in the future

Picture on screen of a middle aged adult helping an older adult out of their wheelchair.

and to make sure those that may be impacted more from climate change get a better chance of being more resilient as well. So the HealthADAPT project really provided us invaluable opportunities to really understand what those impacts are to the community, and to better understand our stakeholders.

A clip showing a screen with nine business professionals engaging in a conversation, followed by a clip of the Canadian Flag waving beside tall buildings with the sun shining in the background.

So we're just finalizing the analysis of some of our work, but I can give you some of the preliminary findings we’ve received when it comes to our “Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices” survey.

Video of four business professionals seated around a table looking at a document.

One of the more interesting findings that we noticed with this is that a lot of people aren't thinking that climate change is going to impact them within their lifetime.

A bar graph is featured. The x-axis reads ‘Belief that Climate Change Will Harm Them A Great Deal or A Moderate Amount’ and the y-axis reads ‘Percentage of respondents.’ The graph demonstrates that as the respondents age increases, their belief of harm by climate change decreases. Respondents aged 18-24 have the highest percentage of this belief (65%), followed by those 25-44 (41%), 45-64 (31%) and 65+ years (28%).

So I think it showed the need for people to understand how climate change is more of an immediate issue as well, and so that's going to be an important thing for us to focus on in the future.

Video of young adult outdoors fanning them self with a piece of paper.

The second piece for us that was really interesting, too, is how people were feeling very overwhelmed when it comes to the issue of climate change, understandably so. So I think it's very important that we provide a positive angle when we're trying to do promotion when it comes to climate change, showing people can do things to make themselves more resilient and there are opportunities for that.

Graphic showing results from a survey that show women tend to feel more motivated, overwhelmed, and hopeless about protecting themselves from climate change than men, followed by a clip of young adult looking into the distance outside.

The other piece of this project that's been really great from the HealthADAPT project is that we've been having conversations with stakeholders that we haven't commonly really spoken to before and it's really given us good insight into some of those key issues, key opportunities to build bridges; and that's a key issue when it comes to climate change, it's about understanding how we can work better together to really serve the needs of the community.

Image of six professionals in a meeting, followed by a clip of a business meeting panning around a table, finally, an overhead shot of York Region, Ontario.

And while we've had our challenges during this pandemic, I think it's been great to see across the board everybody we speak to really still sees the importance of this issue of climate change.

Asim speaking.

This project has been really insightful to better understand how we can be more resilient to the future impacts of climate change. So in particular, it helps fill some knowledge gaps, really understanding what the community is feeling, getting a pulse in terms of what the perspectives are when it comes to climate change and health. It's been really helpful from that standpoint.

Picture of diverse individuals putting their hands together in the middle of a circle, followed by a clip of two individuals looking at a computer screen together.

And secondly, it's also been really good to help start building the bridges and conversations with different stakeholders that are going to be really essential to help some of those that are especially more vulnerable to those impacts of climate change.

Clip shows an older adult in a virtual meeting. Screen goes back to Asim.

And I think from this too, we're hoping to learn a lot in terms of how we reach the public. So a big part of what we do in public health at the local level is trying to communicate and do health promotion.

Picture of two parents, grandparents, and two young children walking outside.

So we hope that a lot of the findings we get from this will really help us tailor our messaging to be more effective, to make people feel more empowered that they can do more to address the issue of climate change, to help making sure that they don't feel too overwhelmed as well.

Clip of someone watering a newly planted plant, followed by a picture of a little bird sitting on a blooming shrub.

After we complete this project, we're hoping to move to the next steps. So following the framework that's been outlined by the World Health Organization, we really want to start honing in a bit more on adaptation planning. I think one of the key things we're going to take away from this project is that we've already started to build those connections with stakeholders.

Asim speaking, followed by an overhead view of four young adults working around a table together.

So we want to maintain that momentum and trying to see if we can keep engaging those folks, trying to learn more about really where we can help those people that are most vulnerable, and also how they just better reach the general public to make sure that we're all more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

A clip of six individuals outside putting their hands together in a circle and smiling, followed by an image of two individuals on a hike and smiling while one touches the leaf of a plant. 

I think some other pieces too that we've been exploring with this project, is understanding how to use data better. So one thing we're also exploring is how we can monitor for those impacts of climate change over time. What we can do about that as well, in terms of what kind of decisions can get informed, so really exploring a lot of these pieces that will be very integral from a climate change perspective.

A clip of a young individual entering code into their computer, an image of two individuals looking at graphs on the screen of a computer, and a clip of an individual typing into their backlit keyboard.

The last thing I want to say too is that in York Region, we're very fortunate that we also have work being done on a climate change action plan. So our work hopefully will be fitting into that much wider umbrella of how we're dealing with climate change as a whole in the region.

On screen is the cover of York Region’s climate change action plan. Pictured is an individual on a bike, surrounded by forest.

Climate change and health is a very complex subject. It takes a lot of time, resources to really delve into it, if you're really wanting to look at it holistically and in depth, looking at all the different range of issues, the different variables to think of. It can take a lot of resources to really answer the question really thoroughly.

An image of sunlight shining through trees in a forest along a creek, followed by a clip of a young individual with sun shining on their face looking off into the distance.

So my suggestions really would be in the beginning. Make sure you scope out the work clearly. Think about really what impact you're hoping to have, what impact you can have within your means and resources, and that will hopefully help solidify and give you a sense of what the scope should be.

A clip of a young business professional writing on sticky notes on the wall, followed by Asim speaking.

I think the second piece too is that even though climate change can affect so many issues, ranging from extreme heat, extreme weather, air quality, food and water security, vector borne disease, you don't have to look at all these issues at the same time.

Images of an outdoor sign reading, “extreme heat alert”, and a flooded roadway with cars, followed by a clip of a toad in shallow water.

You can just focus on a few that you think are priority now. One thing that's been stressed to us whenever we look at the frameworks created by the World Health Organization, is that it's an iterative process, meaning that maybe you can tackle one issue now and keep building on it in the future. So I definitely recommend to try to make sure that you get something that's more manageable to target that could lead to more effective policy and program development. The other piece I just wanted to lastly add is that local picture. I think for us, one key issue with climate change is that it tends to have a lens of either globally or nationally,

Clip of two business professionals looking at a laptop screen together while in discussion, followed by Asim speaking.

but we don't tend to have that local impact assessment. So to try to paint the picture, and bringing it back locally, I think is really key and think about what it is that you want to pull from the local information.

Image of a bus in front of a large apartment building followed by an image of a suburban neighbourhood.

And I think there's been some valuable things that you can learn at the local level. You know, for example, what impacts urban heat islands may have locally; what impacts flooding may have locally – those are very local specific questions. So I think there's a lot of opportunities to really delve into at the local level that really aren't highlighted in national assessments or other assessments that cover much broader topic areas.

Asim speaking, followed by an overhead clip of a flooded area, then back Asim speaking.

Text on screen: “with a special thank you to York Region Public Health”. The York Region logo appears underneath.

HealthADAPT: Northwestern Health Unit



Text on screen reads “HealthADAPT – ADAPTATIONSante.” On a blue background we see six icons depicting a conversation, a heartbeat, a leaf, a hospital, people, and a magnifying glass. The Health Canada logo appears at the bottom.

A second screen reads; “Northwestern Health Unit”, along with the logo and a map of Northwestern Health Unit.

On screen is a photo of Robert Sanderson, along with his title: “Planning and Evaluation Specialist, Northwestern Health Unit.”

Robert Sanderson:

My name is Robert Sanderson and I'm the project leader of the Northern Ontario Climate Change and Health Collaborative. Working on the ancestral traditional territory of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples in what is known as Northern Ontario, our collaborative consists of representatives from all seven Northern Ontario Public Health Units.

An image of a marshy area surrounded by trees, with fog rising from the water. Next, there is an image of the Northwestern map, divided and labeled with the seven public health units.

Through the support of Health Canada’s HealthADAPT program, our collaborative network was formed to develop a deeper, context-specific understanding of how climate change will impact the health of people living in Northern Ontario and prioritize appropriate evidence-inform action to minimize the negative health impacts of climate change.

Robert is speaking inside. Next, we see a close-up clip of ice dripping from a melting block.


Robert Sanderson:

Recognizing the complex, and often intersecting ways in which a rapidly warming climate can impact our health, the collaborative chose to conduct regional vulnerability and adaptation assessments under the guidance of Health Canada.

Images of a frozen, rocky waterside, followed by a view of snow-covered mountains and trees.

A vulnerability and adaptation assessment, or a V&A, is an organized and rigorously tested approach towards assessing which populations and geographical areas are most vulnerable to different kinds of climate-amplified health impacts, as well as the capacity of health systems to manage these.

A panning view of a freshwater body, surrounded by trees. Next, an image of a group of people planting trees. Last, a clip of a medical professional using a tablet.

This process aims at identifying weaknesses in the system that should protect population health, as well as identify adaptation options to strengthen the resiliency of our health systems.

A clip of a young individual running outside through a park.

For many health units in our collaborative, conducting a vulnerability and adaptation assessment is the first step towards meaningful climate and health action and were completed to serve a variety of purposes.

An image of frozen, snow covered water with hills in the distance, followed by a clip of flowing water beneath melting ice.

Including: to help us gain a deeper understanding of climate sensitive health information; integrate local understandings to further knowledge of regional health risks; and assist health units in comparing current and future changes to prioritize health risks and protective action.

A clip of five business professionals around a table on a virtual meeting call, followed by a clip of a middle-aged adult helping a senior use a tablet. Last, a picture of a dog standing on frozen, snow covered water with trees in the distance.


Robert Sanderson:

To truly deepen our understanding of regional climate change and health impacts, our V&A assessments consisted of three components.

We see two business professionals discussing a line graph on a tablet while having coffee.

One, a comprehensive literature review and analysis of regional climate projections, utilizing a collection of climate models and potential climate scenarios.

Text on screen: “a comprehensive literature review and analysis of regional climate projections”, followed by a clip of several business professionals, standing around a table to review documents. 

Two, purposeful engagement with over 100 key community partners and leaders, including regional governments, health centers, Indigenous councils and leaders, environmental non-profits and key service providers.

Text on screen: “purposeful engagement with key community partners and leaders”, followed by a clip of a young individual on a video call with four others on their laptop.

In the last component was an integration of historical health data and health indicators to identify future health risks and guide the prioritization of adaptive action.

Text on screen: “an integration of historical health data and health indicators”, followed by a clip of a health professional wearing scrubs and a stethoscope using a tablet.


Robert Sanderson:

As Northern Ontario continues to warm, health risks will continue to increase.

Image of a map displaying notable temperature differences amongst Northwestern Ontario communities.

Our project has identified a number of impact pathways which climate change will affect, not only individual health, but also the structures and services which our health system depends on.

Clip of a health professional giving a shot to an older adult, followed by a clip of a scientist examining the contents of a test tube with plant material inside.

This work has yielded many important insights, including key takeaways that climate change is already negatively impacting the health of Northern Ontarians, impacts experienced in Northern Ontario are unique to our region and must be addressed through a localized lens, these impacts are disproportionately experienced, particularly within racialized, marginalized, and low income populations. However, key strengths and resiliency enhancers exist within Northern Ontario populations, including strong community connection, respect for the natural environment, and acclimatization to adverse weather and the need for emergency preparedness.

A blue screen with the title, “Key Takeaways,” appears, followed by the following points appearing numbered below: 1. Climate change is already negatively impacting the health of northern Ontarians. 2. Impacts found are unique to the Northern region. 3. Impacts are disproportionately experienced by vulnerable populations.

Next, we see a short video clip of a snowy road with traffic, as a truck and a white car drive by. Then, we see three individuals walking on a beach around sundown, beside the water. Then, we see a photo of a wide snowy landscape, with trees lining the edges, and clear blue skies.

Collaboration among regional decision makers is necessary to take meaningful, equitable, protective action now to minimize the risks and protect health. All action taken to reduce causes and impacts of climate change will have immediate co-benefits to health. See, as demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, public health capacity is incredibly stretched. This is particularly true within the Northern Ontario context, and understandably, often leads to the prioritization of more immediately perceived health threats. Funding from Health Canada has not only supported the formation of our collaborative, but has helped sustain momentum and the prioritization of climate change and health work, when otherwise organizational engagement wouldn’t be possible.

We see Robert speaking on camera. This is followed by a photo of a snow-covered, frozen lake, with cliffs on the right side, that have trees lining the top, and the sun pokes through the trees at the top left. Next, we see a clinic with a number of health professionals walking by and interacting with one another. Next, we see an aerial video clip of a neighbourhood, and rows of houses can be seen below. We go back to a clip of Rob speaking to the camera. Then we shift to a video clip of a business presentation, and we see three business professionals clapping after one presents.


Robert Sanderson:

Our project has aimed to build and sustain the capacity of the Northern Ontario health units to protect health by identifying and adapting to the risks posed by climate change. By way of completing regional vulnerability and adaptation assessments, our project has incorporated regional climate change projections, health data, and localized perspectives to inform and prioritize policy and program recommendations to respond to climate change. We hope this work acts as a stepping-stone to further regional understanding of climate change and health impacts, and as a catalyst to prioritize the necessity and the urgency for meaningful action to protect health.

We see an aerial video of a hill with sparsely lined trees, and mountains can be seen ahead. Then, we see a photo of a person stepping on a wooden marker on the grass. Next, we see a photo of a man holding a fistful of dirt and grass. This is followed by a photo of a group of six diverse business professionals engaging in conversation in the office. Next, we see a photo of a frozen lake and snow-covered cliffs lined with trees can be shown on the left. The last clip is a video of a father hugging his young daughter outside. We finish with a blue background that reads: “With a special thank you to Northwestern Health Unit.” Their logo appears right below.

HealthADAPT: Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and Region of Waterloo Public Health


Text on screen reads “HealthADAPT – ADAPTATIONSante.” On a blue background we see six icons depicting a conversation, a heartbeat, a leaf, a hospital, people, and a magnifying glass. The Health Canada logo appears at the bottom.

A second screen reads; “Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services,” along with their logos and a map of with a location marker on southern Ontario.

Then, the following text appears on screen: “Climate Change and Health: Assessing vulnerabilities and adaptive capacity in the Region of Waterloo, the City of Guelph, the County of Wellington, and the County of Dufferin.

Brandie Bevis:

Hi, my name is Brandie Bevis and I am a Health Promotion and Research Analyst with Region of Waterloo Public Health.

On screen, we see the headshot of Brandie Bevis, and on right, we see her name and title: “Health Promotion and Research Analyst, Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services.”

We actually have two health units working on this project together, Region of Waterloo Public Health and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

Brandie is speaking on screen.

Bo Cheyne:

And I am Bo Cheyne. I am an Environmental Health Specialist with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, and we were thrilled to partner with Region of Waterloo Public Health to undertake a climate change and health vulnerability assessment.

Bo Cheyne speaks on screen

Brandie Bevis:

Region of Waterloo Public Health, and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, worked together to jointly apply for the HealthADAPT program funding fom Health Canada. The funding allowed us to hire an external consultant to help us with this work.

We see a map of Region of Waterloo and Wellington-Dufferin Guelph, with the logos for Region of Waterloo and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph public health shown to its right.

We’re working with ICLEI Canada. Through ICLEI, we’re collaborating with Dr. Chris Buse, a professor from the University of British Columbia, who specializes in climate change and health equity research.

The logo for ICLEI Canada appears on screen, as well as their tagline: “Local governments for sustainability.” Then, Brandie is shown speaking on screen.

The purpose of our climate change and health vulnerability assessment is to evaluate the health risks associated with climate change locally and to present those risks for our two jurisdictions.

On screen is the report cover for the Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment Report, published by the two public health authorities. The cover shows four images side by side: a stormy rain cloud with thunder, a green plant sprouting from concrete, a tick on a leaf, and a sun against an orange sky. Screen goes back to Brandie speaking.

The vulnerability assessment focuses on addressing rising temperatures, extreme weather, and the impacts to air quality, vector-borne disease, food and water-borne illnesses locally, as well as mental health impacts from climate change.

A clip is shown of a young child running through a field of dandelions, followed by an image of a transit bus during a snowstorm. Screen then shows images of a tick, a rain barrel, and a clip of a young adult opening and drinking a bottle of water on a hot day.

The key goals to our project are to reduce the health risks and strengthen the resiliency to climate change variability currently and also to future climate change impacts to our community.

We see a video clip of eight children racing down a grassy hill.

We would like to increase public and stakeholder awareness to climate change impacts locally, and to provide recommendations based on local evidence on priority adaptive measures that stakeholders can use to help build resilience in our community and our local health system.

We see a clip of young individuals sitting in a lecture taking notes on their devices. Screen then shows Brandie speaking. Then, we are shown a clip of health workers wearing masks and using their laptops and tablets while in discussion with one another. 

Our climate change and health vulnerability assessment is a baseline collection of data on the health risks related to climate change for our two local public health unit jurisdictions. We share information about climate projections, vulnerable populations in our community, and some ideas for adaptation measures for stakeholders in the community moving forward.

We see a business professional working on her laptop, which depicts a couple of charts and graphs. Then, we see a clip of two business professionals in an office room, discussing and looking at some charts and graphs on paper. Then, we see a group of volunteers gathered outside and in discussion.

Without the funding from Health Canada and the HealthADAPT program, there's no way we would have been able to do all that we have done in the last three years.

We see a clip of the Canadian flag waving in front of a forest of trees.

One major lesson learned through this experience was understanding the importance of having at least one full-time staff member focused on the project. There were an awful lot of moving parts and we needed one person to be able to stickhandle everything. Lots of different partners were involved and that was really important along the way.

We see two business professionals discussing together while brainstorming with sticky notes. Then we see several diverse business professionals in a meeting together in an office setting, with one woman delivering a presentation.

Another lesson learned was related to documentation. And this was particularly important because with the length of this project, it's about three years long, there was some staff turnover. Some people left for new adventures and other ones left and came back again but we needed to make sure that the documentation was good so that we could show what we were doing, why we were doing it, and how we got to where we are in the end. So documentation was key.

We see a photo of a downtown street, with many vehicles in traffic. Then we see a clip of a business professional working on a laptop while making written notes. Then, we see a clip of a business professional presenting on a line graph drawn on a whiteboard. We see two business professionals, with one of them explaining the content on her laptop to the other.

Bo Cheyne:

While taking time at the outset of any project to carefully scope out and define what will be included and not included in the project is always quite challenging, but critical to keeping any project on track. For our project aiming to assess and better understand risks posed by climate change to health, which is potentially an incredibly broad and all-encompassing topic, it becomes that much more critical to take time at the outset of the project to consult existing toolkits and frameworks, work that's going on in other jurisdictions, to really carefully layout and define the project scope, and then doing your best to stick to that scope will potentially play a huge role in keeping the project on track.

We see Bo Cheyne speaking on screen. Then, we are shown three photos of a flood; one photo depicting a flooded neighbourhood, one depicting a flooded road with a half-submerged vehicle, and the third showing half-submerged homes. Then, we see a number of business professionals in discussion at an office setting. We then see a clip of two business professionals in a handshake. After, we see Bo Cheyne speaking on screen again.

Brandie Bevis:

There's a lot of great work that could be focused on with respect to climate change and health from a local health authority perspective. But when thinking about specifically developing a climate change and health vulnerability assessment, one of the things that we felt was most impactful was having a lot of hands on deck. We were so grateful to have a ICLEI Canada and Dr. Buse helping us out and preparing the bulk of the report. They did the data analysis, data collection, report writing, etc. However, there was a lot of work that needed to be done from a public health authority perspective as well. As public health staff, we needed to source out data from our health units, determine which data was relevant for our report, describe all of the programs related to climate change and health that we were studying, employ our internal specialists, such as epidemiologists and other various content experts, connect with our communications teams, and collaborate with other external sub-consultants such as designers, evaluation specialist and Masters students for the various components for this project. So there was a lot of work for all players involved and we are so grateful for everyone's help in this project.

We see a clip of a mother holding her child’s hand and walking outside. Then, we see a clip of a farmer standing on an open field at sunset. We then see a group of citizens working together on a community garden outside. Then, we see a clip of Brandie speaking on screen. A photo is shown of a downtown street, with a bus stopping for passengers who are getting on. We then are shown a clip of a business professional working at her desk on a laptop. We then see three diverse business professionals having a conversation during a meeting. We then see two business professionals talking, while looking at post-it notes and looking at a tablet. We then see a group of business professionals reading content on a tablet, whilst gathered at a table.

We will be launching our climate change and health vulnerability assessment on our two public health websites, Region of Waterloo Public Health and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. Be sure to take a look there for the report itself. We will also be sharing information through our social media threads, so please be sure to follow Region of Waterloo Public Health and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health; we will be sharing information on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, so be sure to follow along.

We see a photo of a downtown street, with a bus passing by. We are then shown a clip of Brandie speaking on screen. We see a video clip of a row of individuals browsing on their phones, tablets, and laptops. We then see a clip of three individuals browsing on their phones.

We are really hoping that the information shared in our climate change and health vulnerability assessment will be used to inform climate change work going on locally. We'll be sharing information via presentations with stakeholders, and if you're interested in any of this information, please be sure to reach out as well.

We see Brandie speaking on screen. We see four business professionals, with one delivering a presentation on a graph that is displayed via projector on a wall.

Bo Cheyne:

So this work really pulls together and highlights local data relevant to climate change that will help inform and shape climate change adaptation initiatives that are underway, or those that are under development throughout the region. We have several stakeholders who are just launching their adaptation planning work as we speak, so it's been really exciting thinking about shifting gears towards taking what we've learned to support the foundation and growth of new adaptation initiatives and also strengthening the many existing programs that are already running out there and playing a critical role in building resilience in our communities.

We see a clip of Bo speaking on screen. We are shown a photo of a play structure at a park on a sunny day, followed by a photo of a mother and her daughter riding on bikes and smiling at the camera. We then see a clip of a group of business professionals working together and in discussion. We see a clip of Bo speaking on screen again. Then we see a clip zooming in on wheatgrass in the sunlight

Brandie Bevis:

We are excited to share that our climate change and health vulnerability assessment was launched to partners and the public in the spring of 2022. You can find the report along with accompanying resources, like our climate science report and our infographics, on our two public health websites. We hope that you find these resources helpful, and encourage you to contact us anytime with questions- we’d love to hear from you.

We see Brandie speaking on screen. The contact information for Region of Waterloo Public Health and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is shown in text on the next screen, including their address, telephone number, website, and twitter handle. On the final screen, against, a blue background, is the following text: “With a special thank you to: Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services.” Their respective logos appear below.

HealthADAPT: New Brunswick Department of Health


Tracey Wade:

Opening scene shows a blue background with white text in the centre that reads “HealthADAPT - ADAPTATIONSante” and six icons depicting a conversation, a heart, a leaf, a hospital, people, and a magnifying glass. Under it is a smaller Health Canada logo. The text changes to read “New Brunswick Department of Health” on the right and a map of Canada with a location marker on New Brunswick. The screen changes to show a picture of Tracey Wade on the left with text on the right that reads “Tracey Wade, Project Manager, New Brunswick Department of Health.”

My name is Tracey Wade, and I am the project lead for the New Brunswick HealthADAPT project on behalf of Public Health New Brunswick. The title of our project was “Adapting to Climate Change in New Brunswick: Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments with an Urban and Rural Perspective.”

Text on screen: “Adapting to Climate Change in New Brunswick: Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments with an Urban and Rural Perspective.” The text fades to show a panning aerial view of a waterside town. There are a number of low-rise buildings in the foreground with a highway and river on the left, and trees in the background.

Our intent was to develop a New Brunswick guide for conducting the climate change and health vulnerability assessments by pilot testing Health Canada’s process in two communities in the province – one urban and one rural. 

Tracey Wade shown speaking inside.

We had a number of objectives. We wanted to improve the understanding of the link between health and climate change and develop more New Brunswick-specific information on this link. We wanted to provide adaptation strategies on how to reduce health impacts and inequities in the face of climate change, create a baseline for information from which to monitor future change in health impacts. Our hope was to develop bilingual communication materials, as we’re the only bilingual province in Canada. And, finally, to ignite the New Brunswick public’s interest in climate change and mobilize New Brunswickers to take action at a local level.

Text on screen: points appear one-by-one that read, “understand climate change impacts to health in New Brunswick, Provide adaptation strategies, create a baseline of information, share bilingual information, mobilize actions”.

We developed a detailed background paper that examined the link between climate change and health outcomes in New Brunswick, but with the onset of the pandemic,

Cover of report is shown, pages of report are scrolled through on screen.

we had to pivot and readjust some of our objectives to focus on the community side of the process, as opposed to looking at the health system itself.

Clips of a parent and their school aged child in a grocery store, then hospital workers in protective equipment walking through hospital halls.

So we selected two pilot communities – our urban community was the City of Moncton with a  relatively concentrated population of approximately 70,000 people in southeast New Brunswick;

An image of a map of New Brunswick with a location marker on Moncton, followed by an image of a riverside town with the sun setting in the background.

and our rural pilot was the Chaleur Region, with a rural population of around 30,000 people but spread out over a very large geographical area in northern New Brunswick.

An image of a map of New Brunswick that highlights the Chaleur Region, followed by an image of a rural community next to a river.                                                                                              

Given COVID restrictions, we conducted our community engagement online. We did a public survey, established community working groups, and then conducted interviews with organizations that represented vulnerable populations.

Tracey speaking.

So, the mental health associations, family resource centres, the homelessness steering committee, groups like that.

A clip of a parent and their young child playing soccer outside.

After gathering a wide range of data from environmental and health sources, we developed vulnerability reports which outlined the environmental and climate risks projected for the pilot areas, as well as the baseline health status of the population related to those risks.

Tracey speaking, followed by the covers of the baseline reports for both the Moncton and Chaleur regions, finally an image of a flooded field area along the coast.

So, the extreme heat exposure was measured against heat-related illnesses for example. The report also indicated future health risks given the projected changes to the climate to 2100. 

Clips of the hot sun and a flooding roadway with houses nearby.

We then held a series of online focus groups with stakeholders to discuss adaptive capacity. 

An image of two parents walking behind their young child outside in a garden.

From there, an adaptations report was prepared for each pilot community that included a range of activities that could be undertaken to adapt to the projected climate changes and reduce impact on health, particularly for the vulnerable populations.

The covers of the adaptive capacity reports for Moncton and the Chaleur region, then on screen the pages scroll through the report.

In terms of key lessons learned during our project, well so COVID was both a curse and a blessing. It effectively derailed a few key aspects of the project that we simply couldn’t conduct because most senior health officials and practitioners were simply not able to spare time or energy for non-COVID related projects. However, COVID is also teaching us how vulnerable our populations at greater risk are,

Image of a medical professional wearing a mask with their arms crossed looking at the camera, back to Tracey speaking.

and has brought to light inequities in the social systems. 

Images of a young child playing on monkey bars, followed by a middle aged adult pushing a senior in a wheelchair outside.

I have to admit, conducting the data analysis was challenging. There were so many sources of data, yet so many restrictions on the use of the data for privacy reasons, that it made the entire process quite a challenge.

Tracey speaking, followed by a clip of two business professionals in discussion across a table looking through documents together.

This was especially true in the rural case study as the numbers were simply too small to be able to do any analysis. I know from that experience that it would have been next to impossible for communities to be able to conduct a climate change and health vulnerability and adaptation assessment on their own without significant assistance from people in the health system, most of whom are already quite busy.

A clip of an individual typing on their backlit keyboard with a mug beside them, followed by Tracey speaking.   

Despite the various obstacles though, we were able to complete the pilot studies and meet most of the original objectives of the project. And, we have some really practical deliverables that can be used by others who might wish to look at health and climate change in their local climate change adaptation plans.

A clip of an overhead view of nine young adults working together at a table with laptops and documents covering the table, then Tracey speaking.

As a result of the data challenges and the pivots that we had to make because of COVID, we ended up redirecting some of the project funding to a province-wide analysis on population sensitivity to climate change. Basically, this will provide baseline health and sensitivity data that can be used to understand how sensitive the community will be to various impacts to climate change.

A clip of a hand holding a compass, then Tracey speaking.

To overcome the data restrictions for our very small communities in New Brunswick, it’s being prepared for the 33 community groupings that are already being used by the New Brunswick Health Council.

A clip of a river surrounded by forest with high water levels, followed by an image of a map of New Brunswick with the different community groupings indicated.

So, these community groupings are already engaged in processes to review health data and develop health action plans. The ability to add climate change data will be very helpful for informing local level awareness and action on climate change in the years to come.

A clip of four adults, one of whom is holding a young child, speaking outside, then Tracey speaking.

Health Canada funding allowed the team to have more meaningful conversations in New Brunswick on the impact of climate change on health, particularly early on in the project.

A clip of the Canadian flag blowing in the wind, followed by a clip of two young professionals in discussion walking outside while looking at a tablet.

We also developed a New Brunswick HealthADAPT infographic. The goal was to show how adaptive communities can reduce the impact of climate change on health.  It focuses on simple messaging related to adaption actions that address health impacts of extreme weather and extreme temperatures, air quality, water quality, food security, vector-borne diseases, and UV radiation.

On screen is the infographic panning down so the whole page is shown. The infographic shows a map with points corresponding to actions that communities can take to reduce the impacts of climate change.

In terms of the impact the project has had in our jurisdiction, there is certainly more knowledge here now. 

An image of a glass-covered building, followed by an image of a lakeside dock with canoes, surrounded by trees.

Particularly for our pilot communities, local decision-makers might have realised that some type of adaptation was important for, say, flooding, but now, hopefully, they understand that there are likely health implications to their adaptation decisions as well.

An image of a flooded roadway with trees lining the side, followed by a clip of two business individuals using a laptop, while one gives directions to the other.

So, we’ve tried to show them if they tweak some of those original adaptation measures, that the health impacts can also be addressed more effectively. Of course, there is still lots of work to be done. I think HealthADAPT is just the start of the conversation in New Brunswick.

A clip of two individuals holding hands with the sun setting in the background, followed by an image of a parent and their child riding their bikes along a waterside sidewalk.

In terms of what’s next for the project, the New Brunswick’s Climate Change Secretariat has offered to host the HealthADAPT products on its website so that communities throughout the province can take a look at them, and possibly make use of them in the future.

An image of the homepage of the New Brunswick health website, which features a picture of COVID-19 testing.

So, tools like the infographic, the adaptation actions database, and the process tools that we were able to create will all contribute to developing a better understanding of health impacts from climate change and inspire communities to take action.

A picture of the infographic appears on screen, followed by an image of two middle aged adults riding their bikes along a path beside a river during autumn.

In terms of what other health authorities should know when embarking on this, well the data is the real challenge. But it is needed to understand how to measure if adaptation measures are having an impact.

A clip of the sun shining through the leaves on a tree.

So, health authorities need to figure out the best way to establish those baseline numbers and then conduct surveillance and monitoring over time to measure them.

Tracey speaking, followed by a clip of a rocky shoreline at sunset.

Text on screen: “with a special thank you to New Brunswick Department of Health” with the New Brunswick logo below.

HealthADAPT: Institut national de santé publique du Québec


Text on screen reads “HealthADAPT – ADAPTATIONSante.” On a blue background we see six icons depicting a conversation, a heartbeat, a leaf, a hospital, people, and a magnifying glass. The Health Canada logo appears at the bottom.

A second screen reads; “Institut national de santé publique du Québec,” along with the logo and a map of where the organisation is located.

M [David Demers-Bouffard]:br>

VRAC-PARC stands for “vulnérabilités régionales aux changements climatiques et plan d’adaptation régionale au climat” [“regional climate change vulnerabilities and regional climate adaptation plan”]. This is a project that started in 2019. The project currently includes 13 of the 18 public health directorates in Quebec and more than 60 public health professionals. We currently cover more than half of the territory in the province of Quebec and more than 75% of its population.

Text on screen: “Regional Assessments- vulnerabilities to climate change in public health and development of adaptation plans adapted to regional public health departments”

David Demers-Bouffard, Scientific Advisor at INSPQ, speaks on screen.

Text on screen: Bas-Saint-Laurent, Capitale-Nationale, Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec, Estrie, Montéreal, Outaouais, Nord du Québec, Gaspésie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Chadière-Appalaches, Laval, Lanaudière, Laurentides, Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James

The next screen is a video clip of the Parliament Building of Quebec.

The main objective of the project is for each public health directorate to assess its population’s vulnerability to climate change on its scale—its regional scale—so that it can design a regional public health climate adaptation plan.

David Demers-Bouffard speaks on screen. Then, a video clip is shown of several diverse business professionals, sitting around a table with laptops, and having a meeting.

We also aim to promote linkages between regional public health authorities and regional stakeholders, including municipalities and community organizations, in order to pool expertise and avoid duplication of effort.

A photo is shown of a flooded park, with the park bench half submerged. Then, David speaks on screen.

It is also clear that one of the objectives is to enhance, in a way, public health’s role regarding adaptation to climate change and to include the health perspective more in the adaptation measures that will be implemented.

David speaks on screen.

So at present, there are already several government and research community stakeholders involved in the project. These include the Ouranos consortium, the Université du Québec à Rimouski and even several Quebec government ministries, such as the Ministère de la Santé, the Ministère de l’Environnement and the Ministère des Affaires municipales.

On screen, we see the logos of the government and community stakeholders are shown.

Also at the regional level, there are more than 30 municipal stakeholders that have already collaborated with public health directorates on the project.

David speaks on screen.

M [Louis-Charles Rainville]:br>

We’ve experienced some challenges, mainly arriving at a consistent public health position by considering vastly different hazards such as Lyme disease, coastal erosion and heat waves, which have different impacts at different time and spatial scales and also for which the quality of the data is not the same. Sometimes we didn’t even have any background, or very little for these hazards.

On screen is a map of the Gaspésie-Iles-de-la–Madeleine, an administrative region of Quebec. Then, we see Louis-Charles Rainville – the Planning, Programming, and Research Officer in the Public Health Department of Gaspésie-Iles-de-la–Madeleine – speaking on screen. Then, in order, we see a tick for Lyme disease, an image of a coast, and an image of a blazing sun across an orange sky. After these photos, Louis-Charles, again, speaks on screen.

F [Martine Lévesque]:

Regarding the challenges encountered in the VRAC-PARC project, we can mainly talk about the coordination of the project itself. It takes someone to coordinate the entire project, or at least a full-time resource who is really dedicated to the project, who can fully invest in it, make connections with the partners, and move it forward. On our side, we had a few interns who participated in the project, which made it so that, as there was a little turnover, well, we’re at the stage where we have to bring it all together and put the pieces back together to continue the project.

On screen is a map of the city of Montreal. Then, a video is shown of Martine Leveque speaking on screen. She’s the Planning, Program and Research Officer and Toxicologist in the Regional Public Health Department. We then shift to a video clip of two young women discussing an image on a laptop while at work. Then, we see a clip of a business professional smiling while looking at something on a tablet. We cut back to a clip of Martine Leveque speaking on screen.

In terms of challenges, we can also talk about appropriating climate data. It’s not obvious for everyone; we’re not all experts in these climate models. We can also talk about expertise in geomatics. When you want to do mapping, to identify vulnerabilities on the territory, you really need people who are skilled with these concepts.

We see a webpage that has two temperature maps of Montreal and Laval, respectively. Then, we see a video clip of a laptop, with various charts and graphs showing on its screen. We then see a map of Quebec, and then another map of a neighbourhood.

M [Louis-Charles Rainville]:br>

So, putting all this together was a challenge. However, we also experienced it as an opportunity in the region because it forced us to take a broad public health angle, to really try to see the interconnection between climate change and all the other determining health factors, so in other areas, not just in the hazards, and then to also highlight the co-benefits. This is something we’re developing that will serve us for a very long time. This complete public health position, even if it’s not equal for all hazards and we don’t have the same level of precision or clarity for each one, is really appreciated by our partners. They like this wide angle that we bring and it meets a need that they had. So overall, we’re very happy with the exercise, despite the challenges. It’s been really interesting to do and will be interesting to continue.

Louis-Charles speaks on screen.

Text on screen: improved air and water quality, reduction of social inequities, stabilization of the economy, decrease in food insecurity, better access to nature, beautification and environmental protection, reduction of the exodus of populations, reduced energy consumption.

Back to Louis-Charles speaking on screen. Then, we see a business professional working on a computer in an office building

F [Annabelle Savard]:br>

So, for us in the region, the project was really well received by internal and external partners, all during a pandemic. It allowed us in public health to present ourselves outside of the context of COVID and also allowed us internally to work on a file that was also different, to give ourselves perspective and to be able to project ourselves into the future, so that was positive. It allowed us to develop our skills in cooperation and mobilization, as well as in the whole appropriation of knowledge and skills at the level of the various climate databases and then to be able to transfer knowledge.

We see a map of the Bas-Saint-Laurent region on screen. Then we see Annabelle Savard speaking on camera – the Planning, Program and Research officer at the CISSS of Bas-Saint-Laurent. We see a community worker of the Sante et services sociaux Quebec outdoors in a neighbourhood. Then we see a photo of a landscape, with a body of water surrounded by trees and hills, on a partially-cloudy day. Then, we see a photo of traffic on a long road on a sunny day.

We went on to consultations and then arrived with descriptions that were works in progress, but for which we could already present the results.

This allowed us to disseminate the information, which is very extensive and complex, so it allowed us to make it a little more digestible. It also allowed the participants to identify the stakeholders. Then, when we surveyed the participants afterwards, we saw in the feedback that it met a need that we had expected. It was expected that public health would have an initiative like this. They were also looking forward to the next step, so it naturally leads us to PARC.

We then see a photo of a cottage on a lake, with a wall of trees and a small waterfall behind it. We then see a landscape photo of a body of water with green hills on either side under a blue sky. Then we shift to a short video clip of two volunteers planting a tree. Then we see a bar graph appear on screen showing the total survey participants at 121. We then see a video of a business professional working in her home office on a computer. We then see the results of the survey in pie charts, divided by region.

F [Martine Lévesque]:br>

The project’s main successes—we can talk about partner involvement, colleague involvement. People really want to get involved; they want to move this great project forward. There’s also the advantage of it being coordinated provincially. This allows us to share our experiences with other regions, to share our successes. It’s really interesting to see what’s being done in other regions.

We see a landscape of a shallow body of water surrounded by forest all around. We see another video clip of Martine Leveque speaking on screen. We then see a photo of bags of dirt piled in rows in front of a home’s window outside. We then see a photo flooded neighbourhood home, followed by a map of Lanaudière.

[Migan Christain]:br>

Vulnerability assessment is a process that is extremely motivating and essential, but it’s also something that can quickly become complex because of the large number of factors under consideration. It’s important to know that an approach is not necessarily more complete or useful to our partners if it’s cumbersome or overloaded with information. So we really need to focus on the expertise we can bring to our partners and communicate that expertise in a way that will put the stakeholders into action.

On screen is Méganne Goupil-Christin, planning, programming and research officer, direction de santé publique du centre integer de santé et de services sociaux de Lanaudière. Next we see an image of an individual in safety gear entering a flooded house, followed by an image of a crowded road with cars lining the entire street.

That being said, for many stakeholders, climate change adaptation is mainly related to environmental and infrastructure aspects. We noted that the health and population aspects of climate change are less known.

An image of construction debris piled up outside. Next, we see the full image of the construction debris outside of a house. The next image shows 2 individuals working inside a heavily demoed house.

Cities are therefore sometimes involved in adaptation efforts, but knowing which population is where, what hazards they’re vulnerable to and how to improve their resilience are all elements that are generally less well known.

A clip of a busy crosswalk at dusk, with many people walking across. The next clip shows a healthcare worker wearing scrubs comforting a patient by holding their hand, followed by an image of a senior sitting outside on a bench alone.

So that’s really where it’s actually a great opportunity for health authorities to address adaptation and vulnerability from a population perspective. This not only creates an awareness of the impacts of climate change on health, but also responds to a need for information that is not necessarily provided by other partners.

An image of a rainbow over a forest area, followed by an image of a field of dandelions with blue sky in the background. Last, an image of an older adult being pushed in a wheelchair by a middle aged adult outside.

F [Maude Tremblay]:br>

Among the advice we’d like to share with organizations that are engaged in an analysis of the vulnerability of populations to climate change, first of all we encourage you to set aside time for the project, despite the priorities—all the priorities—to be able to maintain momentum and to devote a stable resource person such as a full-time project manager who will allow the project to move forward and ensure continuity of the work and maintain a link with the partners. A second piece of advice would be to think about quickly initiating approaches with partners to learn about their initiatives, the work that is underway, and the concerns they have in the context of climate change.

A map of Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec. On screen is Maude Tremblay, Environmental Health Advisor, Public Health and Professional Responsibility Department of the Centre intégré universitaire de santé de services sociaux de la Mauricie-et-Centre-du-Québec

Collaborative work allows for the development of information and tools that are concrete and adapted to the partners’ needs and do not focus on theoretical foundations, for example. We could, among other things, develop tools, tables, and an information bank that is really intended to popularize their reality.

An image of a flooded backyard, followed by images of flooded creek and neighbourhood, respectively. 

A final piece of advice would be to provide organizations with a vulnerability reading, which is the mission of public health; to allow municipalities to develop a health reflex on the understanding of the vulnerability of populations—particularly vulnerable populations—because, as we know, they’re the ones that will ultimately be much more impacted, much more affected, by climate change.

A clip of a business individual handing another individual documents to sign, followed by an image of three individuals walking through a flooded community. Next, a clip of an individual looking through documents and entering values into a calculator. When then see images of very high water levels at a residential houses. The screen once again shows Maude speaking. A clip of two individuals holding hands outside, with sun shining through the trees in the background, lastly, an image of a flooded outdoor area.

M [David Demers-Bouffard]:br>

For the project’s follow-up, funding from Health Canada allowed us to receive additional funding from the Quebec government through the Fonds d’électrification et de changements climatiques.

David is onscreen speaking, .

Currently, the VRAC-PARC project is part of the 2021–2026 Implementation Plan for the Quebec Plan for a Green Economy. The project is expected to continue for several more years. Several actions are planned for these years. In particular, each public health directorate will vitalize its regional vulnerability assessment, will intensify its linkage and collaboration activities with regional stakeholders, and will develop a climate change health adaptation plan. This plan will also lead to concrete actions that will definitely have to be implemented in collaboration with regional stakeholders.  We think of the municipality, given that public health does not have all the powers to literally implement these various measures. Over time, we also want to integrate the public health directorates that are not yet part of the project in order to cover the territory in Quebec. So that’s what’s in store for us over the next four years.

An image of the cover of the Plan pour une économie verte 2030. Screen goes back to David speaking. Next, a clip of a group of individuals sitting inside in a circle listening intently to someone speaking. Screen goes back to David speaking.

Text on screen: with a special thank you to Institut national de santé publique du Québec. Their respective logo appears below.

HealthADAPT: Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de l'Outaouais


Text on screen reads “HealthADAPT – ADAPTATIONSante.” On a blue background we see six icons depicting a conversation, a heartbeat, a leaf, a hospital, people, and a magnifying glass. The Health Canada logo appears at the bottom.

A second screen reads; “Centre intégré de santé et des services sociaux de l’Outaouais,” along with their logo and a map of with a location marker on the Outaouais region in Québec.

M [Eric Ndandji]:

Hello. My name is Eric Ndandji, Executive Advisor in Sustainable Development and Performance at the CISSS de l’Outaouais.

A headshot of Éric Ndandji appears on the left of the screen. On the right of the screen, text reads, “Éric Ndandji, Senior Advisor – Sustainable Development and Performance, Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais.”

The centre is a health care institution that offers general and long-term care, as well as community services. We are located in the Outaouais region, in the province of Quebec.

Screen shows Éric speaking inside, followed by a map highlighting the Outaouais region in Québec.

Our institution has close to 10,000 employees and is spread throughout the Outaouais region, in urban and semi-urban areas. Our project covers 44 facilities.

A graphic that displays key points about the Outaouais region is shown. There are maps and pictures of life in the different sections of Outaouais. Screen goes back to Éric speaking.

The title of the project is “Le plan de priorisation des mesures d’adaptation des installations du CISSS de l’Outaouais” [The Plan for Prioritization of Adaption Measures for the Facilities of the CISSS de l’Outaouais]. 

Text on screen, “Prioritization of Climate Change Adaptation Measures for All Facilities of the Centre intégré et de services sociaux (CISSS) de l’Outaouais.”

The project is divided into five components. The first was to assess and to draw up a description of the climate risks in the Outaouais region; in other words, to be able to know which hazards our population is exposed to.

Screen shows Éric speaking, then text on screen reads, “1. Portrait of climate risks in the Outaouais Region.” A clip shows an overhead view of heavy flooding in an industrial area.

The second was to assess our population’s vulnerability to climate change from a health perspective. The third was to assess the vulnerability of our infrastructure—the 44 facilities—to climate change. The fourth was to see what our response capacity is, as an institution, if we were faced with natural disasters.

Text on screen: “2. Assessment of the vulnerability of the population from a health point of view”. Screen fades and new text on screen reads: “3. Assessment of the vulnerability of the built environment”. The screen fades again and text on screen reads, “4. Evaluation of the response capacity for emergency measures related to natural disasters”. An image appears of fallen telephone poles blocking a roadway.

Lastly, what we wanted to do was to try to see, through all this information received, what adaptation measures we should prioritize for our facilities in the Outaouais region.

Text on screen: “5. Prioritization of measures for adapting Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais facilities to climate change. » An image shows two individuals shaking hands.

F [Gille Delaunais]:

We decided to involve several stakeholders. Some government institutions were also involved, including the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux and the Société québécoise des infrastructures. We also worked with the City of Gatineau and the four regional county municipalities in the Outaouais region.

Gille Delaunais, Environmental Health Advisor, Outaouais Public Health Department, is speaking outside. One at a time, we see the logos for the Insitut national de santé publique du Québec, Santé et services sociaux du Québec, the société Québécoise des infrastructures du Québec, and Gatineau.

We also worked with the Outaouais regional civil security organization, which is under the authority of the Ministère de la Sécurité publique. We also worked with the Université du Québec en Outaouais and the Université du Québec à Montréal, as well as with the Observatoire de développement de l’Outaouais, and we worked with the Conseil régional d’environnement et du développement durable en Outaouais (CREDDO), which is an environmental organization in the region.

Next, we see a map of the Outaouais region, followed by the logos for the ministère de la sécurité publique du Québec, l’université du Québec in Outaouais, l’université du Québec à Montréal, l’observatoire du développement de l’Outaouais, CREDDO,

Lastly, we hired external consultants to help us, basically, to assess the risk of climate change, by creating a description of the situation in our region and by assessing the risk to infrastructure and also the civil security measures.

A clip of several business professionals sitting in a circle in discussion. The screen shifts to two images of the same location, pre and post flooding. There is a stark difference between the two.

M [Robbens Jocelyn Lacroix]:

This project allowed us to develop knowledge on the different vulnerabilities related to climate change. It also enabled the establishment of mechanisms and tools for the consideration of climate change adaptation in clinical and operational activities. This project also mobilized the various stakeholders in the region on climate change issues. It also allowed us to improve the collaboration we had with our various partners.

Robbens Jocelyn Lacroix, Planning, Programming and Research Officer, CISSSO, is speaking inside.

F [Flora Wagner]:

Of course, there was the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant that some of the resources involved in the HealthADAPT project had to be assigned to tasks associated with the pandemic, at least temporarily. That was a pretty big challenge. Because of this alone, personnel who worked on this project were not regularly available. That complicated things a little bit.

Flora Wagner, Planning Programming and Research Officer, CISSSO is shown speaking inside. The screen fades to an image of an infographic reminding people to wash their hands and social distance. Screen goes back to Flora Wagner.

The other point that was a bit of a challenge was that, still in connection with COVID, we had to make sure that the videoconference meetings were interactive and friendly in an effort to rally the partners around us.

An image of an individual giving a thumbs up to their laptop in a videoconference.

F [Véronique Juneau]:

We are proud of several achievements in our project. First, we were able to involve a good number of internal and external partners in the context of a pandemic. That improved collaboration around climate change adaptation. It also allowed us to develop a project that integrates scientific knowledge as well as knowledge from the field and therefore considers the particularities of our territory and our local health networks.

Screen shows Véronique Juneau, planning, programming and research Officer, CISSSO.

We also succeeded in mapping relevant climate, health and social indicators, with the support of the Observatoire du développement de l’Outaouais, and in developing the team’s ability to handle this type of data in the future. We also succeeded in providing our organization with a plan to adapt its infrastructure to climate change, with consideration for the population’s vulnerability from a health perspective.

A map of the Outaouais region that shows the number of days with a heatwave annually within the region. Screen goes back to Véronique Juneau.

It also made it possible to develop a better understanding of vulnerability to climate change. The project also made a few gains along the way, including securing funding for reducing heat islands as well as relocating a site intended for a long-term care facility that was originally planned in a flood risk area.

A clip of an older adult using their laptop for a virtual doctor’s appointment. Next, an image of children playing in a splashpad at sunset, followed by a flooded roadway with an apartment style building behind it.

M [Stéphane Pleau]:

Funding from Health Canada allowed us to hire a resource dedicated to coordinating the HealthADAPT project. It also allowed us to benefit from the support of several external consultants in engineering, civil security, geography and environment.

The left of the screen shows Stéphane Pleau, director of financial resources at CISSSO speaking inside. The right of the screen shows an image of the Hôpital de Hull in Gatineau. Next, we see an overhead clip of 3 professionals working together.

This was first used to assess the vulnerability of the built environment—our infrastructure—and then for the assessment of our emergency preparedness in a context of climate change. Lastly, the budget allowed us, thanks to the collaboration of the dedicated person, to develop a dynamic mapping tool representing the different vulnerabilities to climate change on our territory.

On screen is the cover of the Risk and Climate Change Report associated with the project, followed by the covers of the Adaptation Assessment and Mapping Report, respectively. Next, we see an image of fallen telephone poles and wires along a street, with workers trying to clean up the mess.

Finally, an image of a map showing zones with varying levels of material deprivation within the Outaouais region.

F [Flora Wagner]:

The impacts of this project on climate change are, first of all, that it has allowed us to have better knowledge of the climate risk and the health risk not only for our decision-making bodies in the organization, but also for our municipal partners and the various cities on our territory.

A clip of a flooded roadway as it continues to rain. Text on screen reads, “better knowledge of climate change and health risks”. Next, we see an image of someone cupping soil and a young plant in their hands.

It has also allowed us to consider the climate risk and all things adaptation in the development of projects concerning our infrastructure, whether now or in the future. It also allowed us to improve our organization’s preparedness and the emergency response capacity of our various departments and it was also a lever for obtaining funding to implement adaptation and mitigation measures within our organization.

Text on screen, “Integration of climate risk and adaptation for project infrastructure”. Screen fades and new text reads, “Improvement of emergency preparedness and response capacity”, followed by text reading “Leveraging funding to implement resilience and mitigation measures in our healthcare system”.

F [Chantal Saucier]:/p>

The continuation of the CISSSO project planned within the actions of the Ministère de la Santé is to continue, with the other regions of Quebec, implementing the methodology developed by the CISSSO to make the territories in Quebec resilient in the face of climate change.

We see map of Southern Québec, followed by an image of many hands holding up a ball that looks like Earth. 

This implementation could be done by 2026 with the help of funding under the Plan for a Green Economy. By 2030, we hope to have improved the resilience of Quebec’s real estate and population in the face of climate change.

Chantal Saucier, infrastructure sustainability branch, department of health and social services is speaking on the left of the screen. On the right, there is an image of a forest with leaves on the trees changing colour. An image of a group of happy professionals putting their hands together in the middle of a circle.

F [Brigitte Pinard]:

I also think it’s important to seek commitment from key players within our institution from the start. In Quebec, public health is part of the Réseau régional de santé et de services sociaux. We took the opportunity to engage the department that’s responsible for technical services and logistics for all health network facilities. This allowed us to include in the project a focus on the built environment and on the health network’s emergency measures.

Brigitte Pinard, Acting Director of Public Health of CISSSO is speaking inside. Next, we see the sign for the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais.

Then, with the technical and logistical services department, we sought the commitment of senior management before starting the project.

Brigitte Pinard is speaking.

One of the winning conditions for implementing climate change work is to have a project coordinator, one who is ideally dedicated at least part time during the period required to carry out the project. It’s also necessary to ensure the availability of stakeholders to participate in the work.

An image of several people putting their hands together in a circle. Next, we see a clip of an individual typing in their office, followed by a clip of diverse individuals sitting in a circle and laughing.

So we, in our project, the coordinator played a leadership role that was essential to the implementation of the project and worked with all stakeholders who were assembled. I would also say that, ideally, our group of stakeholders brought together should have a fairly diverse, multidisciplinary profile, which is also necessary for climate change work.

A clip of four business professionals sitting at a table looking at a video conference on a large screen. Next, a clip of a young individual hiking in a forest area. 

It also helps to know external partners who have an interest in climate change or who have climate change expertise and know-how. It’s important not to hesitate to include them very early in the project process—from the planning stage onward.

An image of a view atop a deck, with lake and forest in the distance. Next, a clip of an individual looking at plant matter in a petri dish.

To sustain internal and external mobilization, I also suggest trying to make short-term gains within the project. In our project, we had the chance to do some of these things, including managing to influence the location of a residential and long-term care centre to prevent it from being placed for a second time on land at risk of major flooding.

We see two images. On the left is a group of people standing in front of a reonstruction sign. On the right is a blueprint for the new construction of the hopital maniwaki. The screen changes to an image of a building post flooding, with plastic barriers surrounding it. Last an image with a sign that reads, “A nos héros du CISSSO, merci”.

Text on screen: “With a special thank you to Centre intégré de santé et des services sociaux de l’Outaouais. »

HealthADAPT: Centre intégré de Santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de Chaudière-Appalaches


The opening scene shows a blue background with white text in the centre that reads “HealthADAPT—ADAPTATIONSante” and six icons representing a conversation, a heart, a leaf, a hospital, people and a magnifying glass. Below is the Health Canada logo. The text changes to read “Centre intégré de la santé et des services sociaux de Chaudière-Appalaches,” with a map of Canada to the right that has a marker on the Chaudière-Appalaches region of Quebec. The image on the screen changes to show a photo of Lily Lessard, to the right of which is the following caption in white: “Lily Lessard, Professor, health sciences department, Université du Québec à Rimouski—Co-holder, Interdisciplinary Research Chair in Health and Social Services for Rural Populations.”

Lily Lessard:

Lily Lessard appears on screen, speaking in a classroom.

Hi. I’m Lily Lessard. I’m a professor in the department of health sciences at the Université du Québec à Rimouski.

I’m a researcher at the research centre at the CISSS de Chaudière–Appalaches, which serves as the integrated health and social services centre for the region, I’m also co-holder of an interdisciplinary chair on health and social services for rural populations here at UQAR.

Text on screen: “Assessing and supporting health system capacity to prevent and limit negative impacts on the mental health and psychosocial well-being of individuals and populations exposed to extreme climate events (CASSSIOPEE)”

I’m talking to you today about a project called “Cassiopée,” which is the acronym that we made from the title “Capacité d’Adaptation de Systèmes de Santé et des Services sociaux à Prévenir les Impacts des Événements de météo extrême en contexte de changement climatique [capacity of health and social services systems to adapt to prevent the impacts of extreme weather events in the context of climate change],”

The text fades and is replaced by a map of Quebec with the Chaudière-Appalaches region highlighted in red.

This project is being carried out in the Chaudière–Appalaches region, which is south of the provincial capital, Québec.

Lily Lessard reappears on screen.

The goal is to have a reinforcement adaptation plan to reduce the psychosocial impacts, or the mental health impact if you prefer.

A man walking a dog, a woman and a child she is holding by the hand are walking along a path. The image changes to a couple and a child seen from behind looking at a lake.

For us, mental health is important. We see it as a state of well-being, the ability to play one’s role, one’s social, family and professional roles.

Text on screen: “Three components: Mapping Psychosocial Vulnerabilities” Then Lily Lessard reappears on screen.

The project is divided into three components, one of which is a mapping of psychosocial vulnerabilities in which we saw vulnerability as, basically, what are the elements of sensitivity that contribute to increasing this vulnerability and what are the elements that contribute to decreasing it, so elements of ability to address the adaptation capacities.

Text on screen: “Three components: Mapping Psychosocial Vulnerabilities, Needs Assessment, Challenges and Strengths” Then Lily Lessard reappears on screen. Next we see a video of a road covered in water, with cars and a man walking in water up to his ankles. Then the image changes to a sunny sky. Then Lily Lessard reappears on screen. The image changes to a group of women talking around a table.

There is also a component that looked at needs and linkages. How people work together and what are the needs in the environment for two types of hazards—which are floods and heat waves—but also what strengths are present, what is already being done well, what are the ideas of the players of the community in relation to how we could better face them. We documented these as part of large consultation sessions. These were very interesting, but we had to stop them when the pandemic started. However, we continued with, I believe we are close to 80 individual interviews with key players, citizens as well, to document these aspects and particularly to document the current strengths.

Lily Lessard reappears on screen. The image changes, and a map showing the waterways appears. Text on screen: “Three components: Mapping Psychosocial Vulnerabilities, Needs Assessment, Challenges and Strengths, Regional Action Plan to Reduce Psychosocial Impacts” Lily Lessard reappears on screen.

All of this feeds into an action plan. The mapping is a decision-making tool to inform that action plan, along with everything that is identified as a strength and as a need as well. So it’s a sectoral action plan where we are interested in what the CISSS can implement, what it can also contribute to and then, more globally, what can be done by other types of players as well to always reduce the psychosocial impacts of climate change.

An image shows a flooded business street with two firefighters in a small boat.

Perhaps one of the main lessons we learned was to really listen to the field in the context of this project.

Lily Lessard reappears on screen. One image shows a flooded street with a stop sign and a fire hydrant sign half under water. An image shows a document entitled “Toolkit for reducing psychosocial impacts in populations affected by extreme weather events.” Lily Lessard reappears on screen.

When the project started in March 2019, in fact, the region had experienced major floods, probably the worst in many years. This led us to postpone the start of the Cassiopée project a little bit, but we found ourselves in the field with the key players who were there. We were developing a toolbox of psychosocial interventions in the context of disasters, which allowed us to take advantage of... or actually to train the teams in the mental health of the people who were experiencing the event, as well as the disaster victims and of the responders who had lived through these events. This caused us to shift the start of the Cassiopée project a bit to the fall, but it also ensured engagement. It allowed people to learn about the project. It brought back the importance, in fact, of watching, and of better preparing ourselves to face the next events and to talk about climate change.

A diagram shows the combined responses for each phase and service level in disaster situations. Lily Lessard reappears on screen. A video appears, showing a health care professional talking to a patient. Lily Lessard reappears on screen. A video shows a group of people working together around a table covered with papers, pencils and laptops.

The impacts of the project... Well I think that talking from a population mental health perspective about climate change, I think that’s going to be a gain in the region. Also, we’ve seen with the pandemic, we talked a lot about it, and also we worked with the public health stakeholders there again to reduce the psychosocial impacts of the pandemic. There are several initiatives that have been developed and links that have been created. Basically, all this also contributes to our action plan on climate change. So, what I could say, maybe one of the lessons we learned is to take advantage of the events that are going on, of the other challenges as well, to see climate change as a cross-cutting element and to be ready to talk about all sorts of thingswith the players who are the stakeholders in the field if we want them to be attentive to this issue that is climate change.

An image shows a road lined with trees in autumn colours. The image fades and is replaced by a video of two workers walking in a field. An image shows three people looking at a screen in a conference room.

As for the project’s next steps, we are committed to continuing our involvement in funding, following the team, in the potential implementation of the action plan’s measures, so we fervently hope that this will be put in place. One of the elements that will be important is the commitment of decision-makers, in particular those at the CISSS. These decision-makers are currently, and for the past two years, completely, heavily relied upon for the management of the current pandemic.

A video shows two men talking and leaning over a sheet of paper on a table, then shaking hands.

And maybe we can leave you with a lesson for these decision-makers at the end of our project, which is that we have no choice but to work in an intersectoral way for this.

Lily Lessard reappears on screen. Close-up of the face of a man looking into the distance. A video shows four people in a circle talking and laughing.

It’s absolutely necessary to work on breaking down the walls between these departments, between the teams as well, to really approach health from a global perspective and also a mental health perspective. That’s how, by working on the determining health factors, we can develop good adaptation mechanisms in the population to face these major societal challenges.

Text on screen: “With special thanks to the Centre intégré de la santé et des services sociaux de Chaudière-Appalaches.”

The text changes to “Health Canada—Santé Canada,” and the Health Canada logo appears.

HealthADAPT: First Nations Health Authority


Text on screen reads “HealthADAPT – ADAPTATIONSante.” On a blue background we see six icons depicting a conversation, a heartbeat, a leaf, a hospital, people, and a magnifying glass. The Health Canada logo appears at the bottom.

A second screen reads; “First Nations Health Authority,” along with the logo and a map of where the First Nation Health Authority is located.

Holly Clermont:

My name is Holly Clermont, here in Snaw-Naw-As territory on the beautiful coast of British Columbia.

I lead the WATCH project for First Nations Health Authority. WATCH stands for We All Take Care of the Harvest. It’s a seafood and climate change project designed to promote seafood safety, security, and sovereignty.

The next screen pictures Holly Clermont on the left and on the right, we see her name and title, reading “WATCH Project Lead, First Nations Health Authority.”

Next, we see a video that depicts a cartoon graphic of a man standing on a coastline. A hand draws out the the WATCH acronym, which says: “We All Take Care of the Harvest”, then draws clams in the man’s hands. An older woman appears on the rock beside him, along with the words: “Seafood Safety, Security, and Sovereignty.”

The need for WATCH was recognized when there was a massive, marine heat wave off the coast of BC that led to widespread toxic plankton blooms from Alaska to California. Many shellfish harvest areas were closed to protect people from something called Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning, but this didn’t prevent die-offs and illnesses among seabirds and marine mammals and even plants were affected as kelps and other seaweeds suffered from poor growth and other problems.

On screen is an infographic that describes how ocean conditions have deteriorated from 2013-2017, along with an infographic titled: “Harmful Algal Blooms and the Food Web.” Next, we see a slide that shows two photos picturing a harmful algal bloom captured in 2015 that spans from California to Alaska. Beside, we see a table listing the large shellfish harvest and fishery closures in that same year. Next, we again see the infographic on Harmful Algal Blooms, with text that reads: “Biotoxin/Neurotoxin Domoic Acid.” This is followed by another slide titled “Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning,” with two map graphics that depict Domoic acid levels across the West Coast. Next, we see a video of a beach at sunset, with some birds along the coastline. After, we see a clip of a waterway, with mountains pictured along the distance, and small islands of tree-filled forests and some sand.

In 2021, we had a heat dome, that according to a UBC marine biologist killed an estimated billion plus marine animals. We know of at least one case where sockeye salmon backed out of an inlet to get away from the heat and low oxygen levels. Then we had wildfires, followed by multiple atmospheric rivers, flooding, erosion, and sedimentation and contaminants that go along with these flowing into marine environments. On top of everything else, our waters are some of the most vulnerable in the world to ocean acidification and we’re already seeing evidence of this.

Video clips of someone pointing at a computer screen, then an orange sky with the sun shining. Next, a photo of a New York Times newspaper article titled: “Like in ‘Post-apocalyptic Movies’: Heat Wave Killed Marine Wildlife en Masse.” Next, a video of a fish swimming in shallow water, followed by a video of a wildfire blazing with thick grey smoke in a forest of trees. Then, we see pictures of several news articles on wildfires, atmospheric rivers, and flooding. Next, we see a man holding up a clam in each hand.

These challenges will dramatically impact marine food webs and by extension seafood safety and security. For many coastal First Nation communities, seafoods are fundamental to healthy diets. It’s a nutritional staple and in remote communities, people really depend on these foods. Seafood is essential to the economic well-being of so many First Nation communities, with generations of knowledge and skills and hard work now invested in commercial harvesting, aquaculture ventures, and trading arrangements.

And seafood species play a major, major role in social and cultural and spiritual well-being. These species and their habitats aren’t just food resources but living relatives with offspring and homes that require dedicated care.

A clip of a woman on a dock, retrieving a net from the water, with her gear in a blue plastic tub beside her. Next, a photo of a person cutting raw fish, followed by a clip of an uncooked fish fillet being sprinkled with spices. Next, a photo of a coastal area, with a large log beside the water, and grass growing beside it. Holly speaking on camera. A clip of a boat on open water, with several fisherman, and one person retrieving a large net from the water. This is followed by a photo of a coast line, with clear blue waters and big, blue skies. Next, clips of several fish swimming in shallow water, then a rock-filled coastline with one pathway, and blue waters, mountains and more coastline seen in the distance.

It’s very clear that climate changes layer on existing challenges. A critical early step for us was to identify current and long-term barriers to seafood safety and security, and to learn from previous efforts to address them. We also recognize that the expertise we required wasn’t available in one or two places or with a handful of people, and that everyone was crazy busy. So, we built a network, a network with tons of different expertise and people who wanted to learn.

Clips of a person walking on very dry, cracked dirt, an ocean wave crashing, followed by a video clip of a person holding a laptop with several graphs and visuals on screen. Next, The First Nations Health Authority logo appears on screen.

Lorraine McIntyre:

I've been going to federal shellfish meetings for literally decades, and I've never felt like I've been able to contribute or that my concerns were heard. And WATCH has allowed me to get to know individual members from communities and I feel like BCCDC is finally contributing and finally helping by being able to provide you with data and tools to assess your own risks. And so, for that I am really grateful.

An infographic depicting the project team, made up of the pilot communities of the WATCH project, along with the FNHA and the BC Centre for Disease Control. A grey column slowly appears to the right of the graphic that shows the advisors of the project, listing the First Nations advisory team, the external advisory team, and the monitoring community of practice. To the right, we see the text: “The WATCH Network.” This is followed by a video clip of Lorraine McIntyre, the Food Safety Specialist for the BC Centre for Disease Control speaking on screen.

Dave Rolston:

I think one of the bigger successes that I see is, you know, this relationship building that is also morphing into a knowledge transfer as well as support.

A series of images of Dave Rolston, “Tseshaht First Nation Fishery Manager and WATCH Community Lead” in a safety jacket outside.

Kim-Ly Thompson:

I think there has been success in the sense of building and strengthening some of the relationships with other communities and experts. And, those relationships, I think there's a sense of hope that hey, with this team of people we can do something about what's happening.

Kim-Ly Thompson, Gitga’at Nation Researcher and Interim WATCH Community Lead, Simon Fraser University, PhD Candidate, speaking on screen.

Andrew Sheriff:

Yeah, I think what opportunities we see, is the opportunity to do this good kind of work and planning, like the climate adaptation planning and stuff, without having it be tied to a different project that has different goals in mind. Being provided with the support to actually just pursue this for its own sake.

A clip of a whale diving into the water and swimming away. Next, Andrew Sheriff, Malahat Nation Fisheries Coordinator and WATCH Community Lead appears on screen. Screen transitions to a short clip of fishing gear being retrieved from the water by a small boat, and then a clip of a scientist examining a specimen under a microscope and then pouring a liquid into a beaker.

Lorraine McIntyre:

The challenges are COVID, COVID and more COVID. It's having capacity within our organization to do the things that we'd like to do instead of responding to this massive pandemic.

Lorraine speaks on camera. We see a clip of a coastline with grass, rocks, and sand, lined with forests and beside the water.

Byron Harry:

I was looking forward to going to Nanaimo this week for an in-class, you know, just to meet everybody and for myself I find it better to learn that way, as to Zoom. That's my challenge myself. It's definitely difficult finding the right people to help what we're trying to do here.

Byron Harry, WATCH Community Lead and Fisheries Manager, Klahoose First Nation speaking on camera.

Andrew Sheriff:

So, the opportunities that WATCH has provided for, you know, from my perspective at least, is picking up some of the slack on the support for getting this kind of work done. Access to increased expertise. The funding to support the work being done in a more direct and meaningful manner I think is probably the biggest opportunities that have, you know, helped overcome some of those challenges.

A time-lapse video of clouds rolling over a mountain landscape, followed by a zoomed-in video clip of rain falling on the branch of a tree. We then see a clip of water flowing from a small waterway in the forest and three side-by-side images of ocean, shoreline and marshy waters.

Holly Clermont:

Additionally, the monitoring side of the project is linking First Nation and Tribal monitoring programs from Alaska to California – what we call a Beaufort to Baha WATCH network. Adaptation planning will grow increasingly sophisticated with shared learning and datasets. Others may see novel species and changes in conditions before we do, and we in turn can tell others that this is on its way, watch for it or maybe try this or try that.

A clip of a waterfall surrounded by trees, followed by a map of the western coast of North America with location markers on British Columbia and California. Next, a clip of business professionals listening to a presentation in a meeting room. Finally, an individual on a dock, pouring a clear liquid into the water from a container and a plastic bottle.

We are a long ways from being done, and don’t really see an endpoint to this work. Our pilot communities already want to do more, there will be other communities that want to do this work, new regional collaborations, and undoubtedly new and ongoing challenges. Communities don’t want to be caught off-guard and are determined to shape their own futures.

Holly speaking. Next, an image of the WATCH network structure. This is followed by a photo of a scenic landscape of trees on small cliffs by the water, with a clear blue sky overhead and sunlight peeking from the left.

We’re not going to adapt to climate change during the span of the project. Be patient. Embrace the complexity and uncertainty. Establish achievable objectives while allowing for two steps forward and one step back and pivots to change course. Give people the space and time and funding to learn together, to apply old knowledge in new ways, to imagine alternate futures and opportunities to grow stronger.

Clips show a busy urban area with many people and traffic moving and a small clock at the center, choppy ocean waters with a boat in the background, and a business professional in deep thought.

“There will not be a new normal…. By the time we have a good evidence base, something has shifted… There will always be some sort of creative leap. That’s not a problem, that is the process.”  Everyone can contribute in meaningful, valuable ways.

A clip of icy waters reaching shore on frozen ground. Text on screen reads, “Quote from Kari Tyler, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC)”. A clip of clouds slowly rolling in a sunset sky.

Text on screen: with a special thank you to First Nations Health Authority. The logo for First Nations Health Authority appears below.

HealthADAPT: Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health Authority


Text on screen reads “HealthADAPT – ADAPTATIONSante.” On a blue background we see six icons depicting a conversation, a heart, a leaf, a hospital, people, and a magnifying glass.. The Health Canada logo appears at the bottom . A second screen reads “Vancouver Coastal Health - Fraser Health Authority”, and a map of Canada with a location marker on Vancouver.

The third screen reads, “HealthADAPT: Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning for Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Fraser Health Authority (FHA).”.

Craig Brown:

Hi, my name is Craig Brown and for the last two and a half years or so, I've been the project lead for the HealthADAPT project for Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health, Health Emergency Management BC and Facilities Management.

On screen is Craig Brown, the Project Lead, Climate Change and Health Adaptation, Vancouver Coastal Health”.

Craig is speaking inside.

We're based in the unseated traditional homelands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations in Vancouver.

Video shows a panning aerial view of water and mountains. Mountains in foreground are covered in evergreens. The next image is an aerial view of metropolitan Vancouver, with buildings and roads covering the ground, and water in the distance.

And, this project is kind of unique in that we've got four partners that came together to apply for the HealthADAPT funding, knowing that we needed to take a coordinated approach to climate change and health adaptation in the region.

Our project spans two very large health authorities in British Columbia, that’s Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health.

A stadium is seen from a distance, surrounded by the waterfront and tall buildings. Text on screen says “Vancouver Coastal Health – Fraser Health Authority”, along with their respective logos. A map of Canada shows their locations on the West coast.

Health Authorities in British Columbia provide services ranging from public health and population health, but to operating acute care facilities, long-term care, and many many other activities and services.

The screen shows four video clips. The first shows medical workers walking through hospital halls. The second shows a busy crosswalk at night. Next, a medical consult between a doctor and patient. Finally, a lively conversation between five individuals sitting on chairs arranged in a semi-circle.

So, our project has primarily focused on public health and population health, as well as, emergency management focus and the focus on a variety of facilities into the project.

Text on screen starts with the title, “Project Focus”. Points appear one by one: “Public health and population health”, “Emergency management”, and “Facilities management”.

Again, to take a more kind of holistic view of climate change and health adaptation.

Video returns to Craig Brown speaking. 

Throughout the project engaged a number of internal stakeholders, these are folks primarily in decision making roles, but also including frontline staff, people who interact with clients, with populations, that experience greater risk, etc.

There are 6 young professionals around a table. Some of them shake hands. Next, there is a picture of an older adult clutching their chest, who is being given a bottle of water by a middle-aged adult.

And what we've done is we've really tried to create an understanding of vulnerability and capacity that was informed by both our staff’s experience and also the experience of the community organizations, local governments, regional governments that we engage throughout the project.

We see an image of a flooded roadway, and then a clip of the Canadian flag waving in front of tall apartment buildings.

You know our project has two primary deliverables: a Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment and a Strategic Plan,

Text on screen: “Project Deliverables”, followed by two numbered points that read, “Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment”, and “Strategic Plan”.

and for both of those we knew that we needed to, again, engage broadly across our staff as well as with our partners in the community and the populations that we serve.

We see a group of young individuals collaborating in a modern office space, passing documents across a table. The, we see an outdoor park with a diverse population sitting on benches. 

So our Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment, which outlined the hazards we are exposed to, the extent to which we are susceptible to impact from those exposures, and the adaptive capacity that the health authority has, that the communities have and that the kind of field of practice has, and bringing that all together into, kind of understanding of vulnerability and capacity in our health regions. I think that's been a big success because we now have an answer to the question of: how is climate change going to affect population health in the health system in these two health regions?

And, what are we already doing about it? How vulnerable are we? Because we know that vulnerability is a composite of susceptibility and preparedness.

The cover of the Climate Change and Health Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment is seen, which features the logos of Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health, as well as a picture taken from atop a mountain with trees and ocean.

The cover of a report titled, “Community Health and Climate Change: Mapping Exposure, and Adaptive Capacity to Four Health-Related Climate Hazards” is seen beside a picture of Vancouver that features mountains, tall buildings, and water. The following maps illustrate high temperatures, wildfire smoke vulnerability, flooding, and ground level ozone maps.

Video shows Craig speaking again.

I think another of the successes, was working with Health Emergency Management BC and Facilities Management and Operations, because we could then broaden our picture, deepen our understanding of vulnerability in our health region.

Three young, business professionals are seen sitting around a table in discussion. Video then goes back to Craig speaking.

Some of the challenges of the project have involved, well, obviously working through a pandemic.

A parent and her young school-aged child are shopping in a grocery store, while wearing masks.

It's become a lot more difficult to get people's time to do the engagement, but we found that doing remote engagement, virtual engagement, has actually opened up probably more doors than it closed. We've also seen that COVID taught the health authorities that they can take quick, decisive action on important problems and be really successful. So, there's a bit of confidence that has come with the COVID challenge in addition to those capacity constraints.

Craig speaking.

I think another challenge with a project like ours is, yes, we have four project partners, but the two health authorities cover just such a massive geographic range, a variety of communities, both urban and rural, remote, there's indigenous communities.

An clip of a busy downtown area with tall buildings and cars is shown, followed by a clip of moving water in a bay, surrounded by trees and mountains with clear, blue skies.

And so, we've had to take that into account. We can't just come up with a high-level statement summarizing vulnerability, for example, very easily.

Craig speaking.

Knowing our role has been another challenge.

A clip of the sun shining through clouds in the sky is seen

What exactly are the services that we provide? How do those contribute to climate resilience in our communities that we serve? And just kind of clarifying some of that has been one of the, both challenges, but also a big opportunity and increasingly a success.

A clip of a middle-aged adult listening intently to another adult speaking, followed by a video panning around a table of business professionals nodding their heads in agreeance.

The collaborations and the relationships that we've built through this project, that's been really one of the most heartening aspects of this. And I think that it's also the key to success going forward.

Two doctor and patient looking intently at a tablet screen.

The Health Canada funding has been extremely important for our project. We were lucky enough to, well, secure my position.

Craig speaking, then the Canadian flag is seeing waving with Parliament Hill in the background.

We were also able to access some additional funds through Health Canada's HealthADAPT program that enabled us to do additional engagement with our Indigenous communities in the Central Coast region of British Columbia.

Back to Craig speaking.

We were able to develop infographics. We developed a set of climate vulnerability maps, through multiple iterations that relied on engagement from all sorts of experts and knowledge users, and we were also able to get some support with doing our engagement work because this project was large and those additional funds allowed us to deepen our impact, broaden our scope.

A picture of the infographic is shown. It is colourful and features a digital picture of a city. The infographic is titled, “Creating a Healthy, Low-Carbon, Climate-Resilient Future”.

Next, a picture of a climate vulnerability map for the city of Vancouver is seen. The level of vulnerability corresponds with the darkness of the shade of red on the map.

I think that our project already has had a positive influence on our jurisdiction. Our project has enabled us to show some of that leadership.

Craig speaking. A creek with running water surrounded by trees. Then back to Craig speaking.  

Building a project website, being at more of the events, hosting our own engagement events about climate change and health adaptation, has really kind of put us on the map and signaled to all of those other partners, community-based organizations, local regional governments, First Nations, that we’re here. We are sorting out, our understanding of our vulnerabilities and our capacities and we are taking action.

A screenshot of the Vancouver Coastal Health website homepage is seen, which features thumbnails of a father giving his young child a piggyback ride, a group of six children sitting cross-legged and clapping their hands, and a health professional in an empty hall smiling for the camera.

Next, a map of Vancouver depicting surface temperature is seen. The map is divided into grids, with darker shades of red representing higher surface temperatures.

And I think that the heat dome, for example, in July of 2021, the unprecedented extreme heat event that struck British Columbia,

A clip is shown of sun shining through a forest, followed by a clip of an older man experiencing the effects of heat, sitting down in front of a tree being given a bottle of water by an older adult.

it allowed us to mobilize quickly during the response, forming partnerships with emergency operation centers being led by local governments, for example.

A screenshot of a Vancouver Sun newspaper article is shown. It is titled, “Metro’s low-income households feel heat waves more than their wealthier neighbours”.

It also gave us an opportunity to do some very rapid surveillance work on the health impacts of that event and to share those with our partners, and internally to guide decision-making.

A man sitting in front of his computer on an online call.

And so, we hope to really deepen this legacy as we go forward. And very luckily we were able to, through the proof of concept that the HealthADAPT program allowed us to pursue, we've now created a full-time position of a Climate Change and Health lead for Vancouver Coastal Health. Fraser Health is following suit and no doubt be a greater expansion of this team in the coming years.

Craig speaking.

So, this project has really set us up for a deep and sustained commitment to climate change and health adaptation for two of the largest health authorities in Canada.

An aerial view of Vancouver atop a mountain is seen, showing the city from far away, and distant mountains and a sunrise on the horizon.

This means that we're now able to contribute to the Community of Practice that is really emerging and that we want other health authorities to know this work is challenging.

A picture of five middle-aged to older adults standing shoulder to shoulder appears. All are smiling and wearing colourful shirts with their arms wrapped around each other.

It's extremely important, it's hard, and Health Canada is going to be there to support you through this work.

A clip shows an up-close view of raindrops hitting the pavement.

We've been very thankful to have the support of Health Canada and we look forward to seeing this Community of Practice develop into the future.

Craig speaking.

Text on screen: “Vancouver Coastal Health – Fraser Health Authority” and their respective logos.

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