Government of Canada announces funds for climate resilient infrastructure initiatives

News release

Ottawa, Ontario, June 28, 2022— Canadians are increasingly feeling the effects of climate change. Extreme weather events such as floods, high winds, and heatwaves are becoming more frequent – and they are having an impact on our infrastructure. The Government of Canada is investing in important initiatives to ensure communities have the knowledge, guidelines and tools needed to keep their citizens safe.

Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Chantal Guay, CEO of the Standards Council of Canada, announced funding of $46.7 million for two important climate resilience initiatives; the Climate Resilient Built Environment initiative and the Standards to Support Resilience in Infrastructure Program.

The Climate Resilient Built Environment (CRBE) initiative, funded by Infrastructure Canada and led by the National Research Council of Canada, will provide the knowledge to adapt our public infrastructure where necessary, inform changes to building and infrastructure codes, and create guides, standards, tools, and technical solutions for climate resilience. With funding of $35 million over five years, the initiative will highlight the importance of resilience through collaboration across the construction sector, from design and decision-making to construction, operation, maintenance and retrofit.

 

The Standards to Support Resilience in Infrastructure Program (SSRIP), led by the Standards Council of Canada, will receive new funding of $11.7 million over five years, to deliver standards and related guidance that address priority areas such as heat, flooding and permafrost degradation in the North. The program is working with communities and beneficiaries to ensure these standardization projects promote a consistent approach to climate change adaptation, enhance resilience, and support informed decision making for infrastructure and buildings across Canada.

These initiatives will help improve resilience to climate change by informing future design, retrofits, and upgrades to buildings and infrastructure. The tools and technical knowledge developed will help communities make climate-informed decisions, and will reduce costs related to construction, operation, and repair. This will ensure that both new and existing structures continue to support the health, safety and prosperity of Canadians.

Quotes

“Communities across Canada have felt the impacts of climate change over the last number of years. As we continue to take bold action to reduce our emissions and protect nature, we must support key research that guides mitigation and adaptation efforts to ensure that new and existing infrastructure can better withstand extreme weather events.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities

“The effects of climate change are real and are felt all across Canada – from the flooded plains of the prairies, to the fire ravaged interior of BC, to the recent devastating storms across Ontario. The initiatives announced today will generate critical knowledge to help us make better climate-informed decisions. Together, we will find solutions that support our communities and help build resilience to fight climate change across Canada.”

 The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“The National Research Council of Canada is pleased to once again work with collaborators across the sector on the research and development that will be needed to adapt Canada’s critical infrastructure to a changing climate. We look forward to continuing our work with construction experts across Canada to provide the knowledge and tools needed to improve and advance the resiliency of Canada’s infrastructure and communities.”

Iain Stewart, President, National Research Council of Canada 

“Canada is facing increasing risks from forest fires, storms, high winds, and more. Without change, we will continue to see increased threats to life and property. Climate-adapted standards for infrastructure and buildings can help by codifying key principles and best practices to ensure that communities in Canada will be safer and healthier as we move forward.”

Chantal Guay, CEO, Standards Council of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Climate Resilient Built Environment initiative builds on the foundational work and success of the Climate-Resilient Buildings and Core Public Infrastructure (CRBCPI) initiative, which was a similar five-year initiative that ended in March 2021.

  • Under the CRBCPI initiative, more than 150 collaborators, including all levels of government, national and international experts from academia, engineering consulting firms, industry, non-profit organizations and the climate science community helped develop practical tools to help the Canadian construction industry meet future challenges.

  • For example, outcomes of the CRBCPI initiative include future-looking climatic design data for over 600 locations across Canada and the first national guide for wildland urban interface fires.  

  • The Standards to Support Resilience in Infrastructure Program was initially launched in 2016. The first five years of this program supported the development of 41 standards and related guidance to safeguard communities and infrastructure on topics ranging from flooding and high winds to permafrost degradation.  

Associated links

Contacts

Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
343-574-8116
Jean-Sebastien.Comeau@iga-aig.gc.ca

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Email: media@infc.gc.ca
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Web: Infrastructure Canada

Media Relations
National Research Council of Canada
Email: media@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca   
Twitter: @NRC_CNRC @CNRC_NRC | Instagram: @NRC_CNRC |
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/national-research-council

Holly Hedd
Senior Communications Advisor/ Conseillère principale en communications
Standards Council of Canada/ Conseil canadien des norms
613-238-3222 x307
holly.hedd@scc.ca

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