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On November 24, the Government of Canada released Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy: Building Resilient Communities and a Strong Economy. They also announced an investment of $1.6 billion in new federal funding commitments to help increase adaptation efforts. The funding will help municipalities and townships build public infrastructures of the future, such as roads and bridges, that can withstand flooding, make sure Canadians have access to the information they need to stay safe during wildfires, and enable engagement and work with Indigenous communities on the development of region-specific health initiatives linked to changing climate conditions. 

The Strategy is a result of extensive engagement since 2021 and presents a shared vision for climate resilience in Canada and a framework to measure progress nationally. Waterloo Climate Institute members played an invaluable role in the creation of the strategy, participating in four of the five expert advisory tables

  • Peter Berry, member of the Health and Wellbeing advisory table
  • Sarah Burch, co-chaired the Strong and Resilient Economy advisory table
  • Colleen Mercer Clarke, member of the Thriving Natural Environment advisory table
  • Simon Dalby, member of the Disaster Resilience and Security advisory table
  • Blair Feltmate, member of the Disaster Resilience and Security advisory table
  • Jason Thistlethwaite, member of the Disaster Resilience and Security advisory table

Peter Berry

Adjunct Professor, Geography and Environmental Management; Senior Policy Analyst and Science Advisor, Health Canada

Peter Berry actively participates with Canadian and international researchers in efforts to better understand climate change risks to health and well-being and to prepare individuals, communities and health systems for future impacts.

Sarah Burch

Executive Director, Waterloo Climate Institute; Professor, Geography and Environmental Management; Canada Research Chair (On Leave)

Sarah Burch is an expert in transformative responses to climate change at the community scale, innovative strategies for making progress on sustainability, and the unique contributions that small businesses can make to this solving this complex challenge.

Blair Feltmate

Professor; Head, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation

Blair Feltmate's research is about identifying the additive value of sustainable development on an industry-specific basis and establishing a practical, meaningful and cost-effective climate change adaptation program for Canada.

The University of Waterloo was additionally represented by Joanna Eyquem, Managing Director of Climate-Resilient Infrastructure at the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation. She was a member of the Resilient Natural and Built Infrastructure advisory table. 

During the first phase of the work, the advisory tables developed the framework of the Strategy, including long-term transformational goals, and medium-term objectives. Now that the strategy has been released, it is open to the provinces, territories, and National Indigenous Organizations for a final 90 days of engagement on its common goals and specific measurable targets and objectives before being finalized. To find out more, read the National Adaptation Strategy.

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The Government of Canada has announced new federal funding of over $585,000 for a research project 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 as a partnership between l'Université du Québec à Montréal, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the Université Laval and the University of Waterloo, builds on Dr. Daniel Henstra and Dr. Jason Thistlethwaite’s previous work with Canada's Task Force on Flood Insurance and Relocation.