Government of Canada announces funding for research project to improve Canada’s resilience to flooding

News release

November 23, 2022
Ottawa, Ontario          

Climate change is having a direct impact on natural disasters, including flooding, increasing the scale, frequency, and unpredictability of these events. That is why the Government of Canada is making investments to strengthen Canada’s resilience to climate change and reduce the impact of flooding on our communities.

Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, announced new federal funding of over $585,000 for a research project led by l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) that will examine how much flooding will cost in the future and how public policy can contribute to Canada’s resilience to climate change.

This project, completed in partnership with the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the Université Laval and the University of Waterloo, builds on other work, including the interdisciplinary Task Force on Flood Insurance and Relocation’s report Adapting to Rising Flood Risk: An Analysis of Insurance Solutions for Canada, which provides the evidence and information required to support decision-making and the way forward on a national flood insurance program, with special considerations for potential strategic relocation of those in higher-risk areas.

The Government of Canada will continue to help Canadians whose jobs and lives are affected when disasters strike, help communities prepare for the realities of increased climate-related risks and disasters and ultimately, increase the country’s resiliency to the impacts of flooding.

Quotes

“Flooding, and the risk of repeat flooding, can have a significant impact on our sense of security. As climate change increases the frequency of flooding across the country, Canadians deserve access to financial protection. This research project will support our government’s goal to increase flood resilience by using science-based solutions, and I’m grateful for the leadership of these three institutions and the Insurance Bureau of Canada in improving flood risk management.”

- The Honourable Bill Blair, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

“Canada is warming at twice the global rate and up to three times the global average in the North. Adaptation is about being better prepared to respond to and recover from climate change-related events, reducing the impacts on Canadians and communities. The choices and adaptation actions we take today will help decide the future of our communities, our livelihoods, the environment, and the economy.”

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“A pioneer in environmental sciences and climate change risk analysis, the Université du Québec à Montréal is proud to be involved with this partnership for the future. Bringing together experts, research professors, and practitioners, this major project will help identify concrete solutions in order to reduce the financial risks arising from flooding, which often translate into individual, social, and territorial disasters.”

- Magda Fusaro, rector of UQAM     

“Costing of flood risk across Canada is essential to developing and prioritizing measures to reduce that risk. IBC is pleased to partner with Public Safety Canada to support UQAM in this important research and to expand on the costing work undertaken for the Task Force on Flood Insurance and Relocation. In an era where these risks are being amplified by a changing climate, this is a challenging task, but UQAM have demonstrated they are equal to it.”

- Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Climate Change and Federal Issues, Insurance Bureau of Canada

“Rooted in the boundary between actuarial and climate sciences, this research will help develop the mathematical tools needed to quantify the impacts of climate change on the financial management of flooding. In collaboration with the Université Laval and the University of Waterloo, the project will help develop leaders in actuarial science, risk management, and public policy design. The ultimate objective is to strengthen Canadians’ resilience to climate change.”

- Mathieu Boudreault, actuary and professor at UQAM’s Department of Mathematics, and principal researcher for the project

Quick facts

  • In addition to the release of the Task Force on Flood Insurance and Relocation’s report Adapting to Rising Flood Risk: An Analysis of Insurance Solutions for Canada, the Government of Canada is developing the country’s first National Adaptation Strategy. This strategy will outline how the Canadian economy and society can be more resilient and prepared for the impacts of climate change. 

  • In order to support the development of this Strategy, Public Safety Canada co-chaired a Disaster Resilience and Security Advisory Table which included diverse stakeholders, including representatives from the National Indigenous Organizations, non-governmental-organizations, academia, industry associations, and others. The Strategy represents a shared vision for climate resilience in Canada, supports improving resilience to flooding, and complements investments in this research project.

  • Of the over $585,000 in federal funding announced today:

    • $318,359 will come from Public Safety Canada’s Policy Development Contribution Program; and
    • $270,000 will come from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
    • The Insurance Bureau of Canada is also providing funding of $30,991 for the research project.
  • Public Safety Canada's Policy Development Contribution Program (PDCP) supports strategic projects undertaken by the Department's stakeholders that contribute to policy making and improved service delivery, in the areas of public safety and emergency management.

  • The program funds an average of 5-6 projects each fiscal year. Projects are cost-shared, where total government funding at all levels makes up no more than 95 per cent of the total project costs.

  • Since 2019, the Government of Canada has moved forward on a number of initiatives, in collaboration with all orders of government and stakeholders, to improve resiliency and flood mitigation. This includes:

    • Investing $63.8M over three years for the Flood Hazard Identification and Mapping Program to complete flood hazard mapping of higher-risk areas and to make this flood hazard information accessible, in partnership with provinces and territories, and to advance consistent best practices and flood mapping approaches across Canadian jurisdictions;
    • A review of the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program to ensure there is an updated, sustainable system available to provinces and territories for disaster recovery and for the safety and well-being of Canadians;
    • Advancing work on a National Risk Profile, which is a strategic national risk and capability assessment that uses scientific evidence and stakeholder input to identify, compare, and prioritize which hazards are the most concerning; and, where there are gaps in our ability to prevent, mitigate, respond, and recover from disasters across all hazards. The National Risk Profile includes a hazard-specific stream focused on flooding, which coordinates the development of whole-of-government flood risk policy and direction on activities related to flood risk awareness, engagement and education;
    • Integrating climate resilience into the National Building Code and conducting research to factor climate resilience into the design of buildings; and
    • Through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, delivered by Infrastructure Canada, providing funding for infrastructure projects, to help communities better withstand the potential impacts of natural hazards such as floods.

Associated links

Contacts

Joanna Monique Kanga Bissila
Press Secretary
Office of the President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness
Joanna.Kanga@qpc-cpr.gc.ca

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada
613-991-0657
media@ps-sp.gc.ca

Evelyne Dubourg
Media Relations Advisor
Press Relations and Special Events Division
UQAM Communications Service
514-987-3000 Ext. 20157
dubourg.evelyne@uqam.ca

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