National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting Act

An Act to establish a national strategy respecting flood and drought forecasting


Francis Scarpaleggia  Liberal

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Second reading (Senate), as of June 6, 2024

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-317.


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment provides for the development of a national strategy to provide key stakeholders with the information they need to forecast floods and droughts.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.


June 5, 2024 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-317, An Act to establish a national strategy respecting flood and drought forecasting
Feb. 14, 2024 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-317, An Act to establish a national strategy respecting flood and drought forecasting

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

November 24th, 2023 / 1:20 p.m.
See context


Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

moved that Bill C-317, An Act to establish a national strategy respecting flood and drought forecasting, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that a key role of a legislator, especially when society is faced with a growing multiplicity of challenges, many of which require recourse to science to solve, is to act as a conduit, in essence a conduit for bringing the science that resides in our universities and other research entities, including government departments, into the realm of actionable public policy. This is what Bill C-317 seeks to do.

Before I delve into the bill, I would like to acknowledge and thank Dr. John Pomeroy, director of the global water futures programme at the University of Saskatchewan, and Dr. Alain Pietroniro, Schulich chair in sustainable water systems in a changing climate at the University of Calgary, both of whom have patiently provided me with a basic understanding of flood and drought forecasting to allow me to argue today, hopefully convincingly, for the creation of a national flood and drought forecasting strategy.

Fresh water is one of those complex policy issues that call for urgent political and policy attention. First, let me be clear, Bill C-317 is not about encroaching on provincial jurisdiction. It is not a Trojan horse, no more than the Canada Water Agency, which will be a platform for co-operation in better managing our water resources, would be a Trojan horse.

It would be a political conceit, not to mention just plain foolish, to think the federal government could govern fresh water, a provincial resource, in a top-down centralized fashion. That said, we need all hands on deck if we are to properly manage and protect this vital resource, which Canada has been blessed to possess in such great abundance in its rivers and lakes, in its ice coverage and beneath our feet in groundwater.

I implore members not to oppose this bill for reasons of politics or ideology. Water, especially when we speak of flooding, is a far too important of a non-partisan policy issue. Bill C-317, if adopted, would help better protect communities across Canada, including in Quebec, from the devastating impacts and costs of flooding. My own riding of Lac-Saint-Louis in Quebec, as well as ridings adjacent to it and further upstream, have been impacted by costly flood events as recently as 2017 and 2019. I have seen first-hand the damage and heartbreak that flooding can cause.

My bill calls for the creation of a national flood and drought forecasting strategy. I want to emphasize the word “national” here, as opposed to “federal”, which is a crucial distinction.

Water is far too vast and complex an issue for the federal government to be able to take on alone and take sole responsibility for. This would be true even if, by some miracle, the Constitution gave the federal government complete jurisdiction over water, which is obviously not the case. Centralization is simply not the way to go here.

The federal government readily acknowledges this fact in its words and actions. The federal government's equivalency agreement with Quebec on the regulation of waste water effluent is a good example of this desire to collaborate, even when it comes to a powers under the Fisheries Act, which falls squarely under federal jurisdiction.

That being said, when we talk about water or other environmental issues, gaining knowledge, advancing research and sharing best practices to reach better solutions are international undertakings that require a kind of collaboration that transcends borders. Nothing in this bill challenges respect for jurisdictions, including provincial jurisdiction over water. If the European Union countries can collaborate on a common water policy, the European water policy, the regions of Canada should be able to do the same.

The condition of our water resources is increasingly linked to climate change. In fact, water is the canary in the coal mine, an early warning system. I would like to quote one of the most respected experts on water policy, Jim Bruce.

He said, “Like a fish that does not notice the shark until it feels its sharp bite, humans will first feel the effects of climate change through water.” Put another way, to quote water policy guru Bob Sandford from his book Flood Forecast: Climate Risk and Resiliency in Canada, water is a child of climate. He writes, “If we follow what is happening to our water, it will tell us what is happening to our climate.” In other words, we experience climate change through water.

At this time, I would like to say that, while Bill C-317 deals with both drought and flood forecasting, I will be concentrating on flooding in this debate.

According to the United Nations, flooding is the most common natural hazard globally. Due to damage associated with floods, it has been known as the deadliest natural disaster after earthquake and tsunami.

To quote Zahmatkesh et al. from an article entitled “An overview of river flood forecasting procedures in Canadian watersheds”, published in the Canadian Water Resources Journal, “In Canada, floods are known as the most common, widely distributed, and the most costly natural disasters which threaten lives, properties, the economy, infrastructure, and environment.”

Needless to say, flood disasters hurt the economy. According to the Library of Parliament, an Insurance Bureau of Canada paper states that large natural disasters have a negative impact on economic conditions. A typical disaster lowers economic growth by about one percentage point and GDP by about 2%.

The damage from flooding is not only physical, it is emotional and psychological as well. To quote the report of the 1998 symposium on the Saguenay flood:

Some authors have observed an increase in depressive and somatic symptoms [and] emotional distress and anxiety [pursuant to flood disasters]. Some flood victims...[have even] exhibited psychological disorders 14 years after the event, including phobias, panic disorders and agoraphobia.

I have seen the damage. I have toured flooded areas of my riding with Jim Beis, the mayor of the Montreal city borough Pierrefonds-Roxboro, who has been tackling local flood risk head-on for years, through robust annual springtime flood preparations. He has worked tirelessly to buttress the community's resilience to floods, often not waiting on the city administration downtown to act to protect his constituents, many of whom are also my constituents.

Allow me to give a brief overview of major flooding events in recent Canadian history. In 1996, according to the report from the 1998 symposium on the Saguenay flood:

More than 16,000 were evacuated and 7,000 families witnessed...damage to their homes or neighbourhoods [in the flood].

Twenty percent of the disaster victims suffered post-traumatic stress and the flood “generated psychological after-effects that were measurable three months later.”

Apparently, these floods drove home the reality of climate change for Quebec's Premier at the time, Lucien Bouchard, and its destructive potential.

In 2017, the Ottawa-Montreal region experienced extreme flooding and then again in 2019. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the 2019 spring flood in Quebec cost $127 million in insured damages.

This brings me to 2013 in Alberta where, to again quote Robert Sandford in his book Flood Forecast: Climate Risk and Resiliency in Canada:

Three storm cells combined and then lingered for three days in the same region and unleashed 250 to 270 millimetres of rain in the upper regions, producing some nine million cubic metres of rainfall, suddenly turning mountain creeks into raging torrents. The spring snow melt was late that year and the snowpack was above normal for late June, something that was not recognized in the province's flood prediction system or model. The province's flood prediction system utterly failed and flood warnings were not issued in many places until after evacuation orders were issued. However, the inadequacy and failure of Alberta Environment's flood forecasting system should not be attributed to the skill or knowledge of individual forecasters but to systemic problems related to staffing cuts, reliance on outdated forecasting tools and inadequate field monitoring.

The flood caused $5 billion in damages.

In British Columbia, in 2021, parts of the southern region of the province recorded between an estimated 1-in-50 and 1-in-100-year rainfall events, triggered by an atmospheric river, delivering about one month's precipitation in a matter of hours. The total flood damages totalled $9 billion.

Needless to say, damages from flooding are expected to grow exponentially with climate change. According to a report by GHD consultants entitled “Aquanomics: the economics of water risk and future resiliency”, “droughts, floods and storms could wipe $5.6 trillion USD from the GDP of key economies, with some more affected than others.”

In Canada, “droughts, floods and storms could result in a total loss of $108 billion to Canadian GDP between 2022 and 2050, an average of 0.2% of GDP per annum.” Output losses in Canada in manufacturing and distribution alone between 2022 and 2050 could reach a total of $50 billion. One can only imagine the impact on inflation of increasing, widening flooding events.

Flood forecasting is a complex endeavour with two key components: meteorological forecasts and hydrological modelling to translate weather forecasts into stream flow and water level predictions. Accurate flood forecasts also require knowledge of watershed characteristics, which influence water flows. It is easy to see that accurate flood forecasting relies on large quantities of data from multiple sources and the ability to create models that are both broad and granular, into which to feed the data. As flood forecasts cover wider and wider areas and take account of more and more factors in an uncertain climate context, greater and greater processing power is required to crunch the data and produce a range of probabilistic scenarios, which means an increasing reliance on supercomputers.

According to scientists, “Canada is the only G7 country, and perhaps the only developed country, without a national flood forecasting system”. Flood forecasting in Canada is largely considered a provincial responsibility, carried out by many of the 13 provincial and territorial governments, various municipalities across the country and some 99 of the Ontario conservation authorities. However, there are disadvantages with this approach. The main one is the lack of integration with weather forecasts as well as inconsistent forecasting capacity across provinces. This fragmented approach can lead to the slow adoption of new technology and advanced methods, and to an absence of technical coordination with agencies like the Meteorological Service of Canada.

Most jurisdictions in Canada have no modern flood forecast modelling capability. Even the most sophisticated systems use dated software and are limited to major river forecasting. Fragmentation can also be problematic in dealing with transboundary basins when individual systems in each province and territory, and between provinces and territories and the U.S., are not necessarily compatible. Several provinces and territories are still struggling with their forecasting needs because of limited human resources or skills. However, there are advantages in the Canadian decentralized system. It allows provinces to be laboratories to test unique and innovative approaches that, once demonstrated to be successful, can be adopted by other provinces. The benefit of this fragmented approach in flood forecasting is that it allows for developing bespoke flood forecasting systems that are specifically tailored to work at regional scales and to tackle unique local hydrological challenges.

I have much more to say on the technical level about what the bill would accomplish, and I expect to be able to touch on those aspects in future speeches in the House and also in committee, if the bill gets there.

I would like to end by saying that the benefit of a national forecasting system is that its models are of higher quality, producing more accurate large-scale forecasts with longer timelines than is possible with local forecast models only. The ability to connect national models with local forecasting efforts is crucial for accurate flood forecasting and also for long-term capacity building. National modellers gain experience on a regular basis from floods in different parts of the country. A national modeller could very well predict a flood almost every year. Local modellers, on the other hand, might not predict a flood in their whole career. Working with national modellers facilitates knowledge transfer that strengthens the overall system.

The bill is trying to accomplish a formal structure of collaboration among the stakeholders in this area, with the scientists and the forecasters, which is something I believe they all want. At the moment, they do meet informally to share best practices, but there is a need for a more permanent structure that could bring them together to better predict floods for the benefit of all Canadians.

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

November 24th, 2023 / 1:35 p.m.
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Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I know my colleague from Lac-Saint-Louis is a champion for all things water in the House and in this country. I would like to thank him for mentioning my old friend, Bob Sandford, who I worked with in the Rockies back in the early 1970s and has gone on to be a global spokesman for water issues on behalf of Canada.

It is hard not to agree with the bill before us because the issues are so dire and the need is so great, but it makes me wonder why the government has not been doing this over the last eight years. What we really need for flood protection in Canada, on top of the prediction, is to have communities ready for floods. It is one thing to say a flood is coming in the next two days, but it is another thing to have a community ready. We need dedicated federal funding to help communities reshape their defences for floods ahead of time, and we do not have that.

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

November 24th, 2023 / 1:35 p.m.
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Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am sure Bob would be very pleased to hear the hon. member mention his long-standing friendship with him.

The federal government has been investing in climate adaptation infrastructure, though one can always invest more, and it has recently released its climate adaptation strategy, which is a framework. I would be in favour of as much funding as possible to strengthen the resiliency of communities.

With regard to why the government has not been doing this already, in defence of Environment and Climate Change Canada, it is working on the issue. I feel personally that it is not going far enough and I introduced the bill to push the issue forward a little more.

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

November 24th, 2023 / 1:40 p.m.
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Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my turn to commend my colleague from Lac-Saint-Louis. He is always so committed to protecting water, freshwater in particular, and the environment as a whole. In his speech, he clearly demonstrated the links between the environment and health. He explained that they were intimately linked. He also talked about the economic costs of floods and droughts. We could also add in the economic costs of all health problems. It all adds up.

On the subject of Bill C‑317, we already have the Canadian Drought Monitor and Environment Canada's weather services, for example. Do we need another piece of legislation to improve coordination?

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

November 24th, 2023 / 1:40 p.m.
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Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is absolutely right. There are various pieces of legislation.

The Canadian Meteorological Centre is located off Highway 40 at Sources Boulevard on the West Island. Yes, there are programs in place, but they need to be better coordinated for greater benefit to the country. The purpose of the bill is to ensure that the existing elements are better aligned to increase their effectiveness.

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

November 24th, 2023 / 1:40 p.m.
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Larry Maguire Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I too know Bob Sandford. When I was the shadow cabinet member in Manitoba for conservation, environment or rural development, at different times, I might add, I spoke with him quite often with regard to issues of Manitoba being the basin of all the water in western Canada coming into Lake Winnipeg and on out to Hudson Bay. I have read some of Mr. Sandford's books.

I wonder if my colleague could provide us with his thoughts on how a national strategy would be formed and what type of makeup it would have.

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

November 24th, 2023 / 1:40 p.m.
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Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the point of the bill is to really require a strategy because, as the member knows, private members' bills cannot require the spending of money.

The idea of a strategy is to create a plan or model for how we can move forward with flood forecasting. I believe the model should be based on the National Hydrological Service as opposed to the Meteorological Service of Canada because the Meteorological Service is a top-down, centralized service that does wonderful work, but the National Hydrological Service is a cost-shared program with the provinces. There is a lot of back and forth and co-operation between the federal government and the provinces and territories, and that is the kind of model that we need, not something that is top-down but that is interactive with the folks who are closest to where the action is taking place.

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

November 24th, 2023 / 1:40 p.m.
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Michael Kram Conservative Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to Bill C-317, an act to establish a national strategy respecting flood and drought forecasting. I would like to thank my colleague, the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Louis, for introducing this bill. I enjoy working with him on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

This bill covers some very interesting topics, including advance flood and drought forecasting models, sophisticated integration of spatially detailed hydrological management models and water resource management models, supercomputers with inputs from multiple meteorological forecast models, and on-site observations of rainfall, soil moisture, snowpack, glaciers, lake levels, ice jams and stream flows. There are certainly a lot of state-of-the-art technologies and subjects to consider in Bill C-317.

Typically, when I debate a bill in Parliament, I often put the bill into one of two categories: good bills that I encourage all MPs to support and bad bills that I encourage all MPs to oppose. After reading Bill C-317, it seems that this bill falls somewhere between those two extremes. Therefore, it would be prudent to support this bill at second reading so it can be further studied at committee.

Floods have been around since the beginning of time, and property damage caused by flooding has been around for almost as long. Whenever a major flood occurs, once all the people have been safely evacuated and the flood waters recede, the discussion soon turns to the cost of the flood in terms of property damage. Inevitably, this question is asked: Who will pay for the damaged or destroyed property?

Unfortunately, far too often it is different levels of government that have to step in to provide financial assistance. The federal government's disaster financial assistance arrangements program has spent approximately $8 billion in compensation since the program was established in the 1970s. Furthermore, the frequency and the amounts of future payouts are expected to increase as more and more properties of ever-increasing value continue to be built on lakefronts and riverfronts.

While I have no doubt that the federal government's disaster financial assistance arrangements program was set up with good intentions, one has to remember that all of the costs of the program are inevitably passed on to taxpayers. I have often wondered why different levels of government have to incur these costs. Why is this not something that is best left to private sector insurance companies?

I was so curious that I sat down and had this very conversation with representatives form the Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan. It turns out that insurance markets function very well when there is a high level of predictability in which the insurance companies and their policyholders can operate. If insurance companies and their actuaries can predict with a reasonable level of accuracy that in any given year so many houses will be destroyed by lightning strikes, so many more will be destroyed by fires and so many more will be destroyed by some other type of disaster, then insurance companies can develop their policies and set their premiums accordingly.

Unfortunately, it seems that insurance companies have considerably more difficulty in predicting flooding than they do in predicting other types of disasters, such as fires or lightning strikes. As a result, they simply do not offer flood insurance to many Canadian homeowners. When those homes get damaged or destroyed by floods, government programs such as the disaster financial assistance arrangements program get activated, and it is the taxpayers who are ultimately left paying the bill.

Clearly, there is room for improvement. There has to be a better way to structure the federal government's policy than to have the disaster financial assistance arrangements program, as well as similar provincial programs, simply dole out billions of dollars to uninsured property owners whenever there is a flood.

In fact, these sentiments were echoed in the final report of the expert advisory panel on the disaster financial assistance arrangements, which was presented to the Minister of Emergency Preparedness in November of last year. One line in particular from the report’s executive summary describes the path forward very succinctly: “The Panel recommends the Government of Canada develop tools, information and capabilities to support risk-informed decision making by all levels of government, Indigenous communities, the private and not-for-profit sectors, academia and the public at large.” I feel that the term “risk-informed decision making” is very appropriate. If there is a flood plain right beside a river that is likely to overflow, it makes sense that builders be informed of the risk before they build. It makes sense that municipal and provincial governments be informed of the risk before they grant building permits. It makes sense that potential homebuyers be informed of this risk, and the associated insurance premiums, before they buy.

Perhaps the way forward lies in Bill C-317. If the federal government could step in and play a useful role in providing standardized, accurate flood mapping and flood forecasting information in order to facilitate an orderly marketplace for flood insurance for property owners, this would be a beneficial role for the federal government to play. If the flood information were accurate, reliable and stored in a database that were easily accessible to the public and to insurance companies, then a significant element of uncertainty in the marketplace could be reduced. Many private sector insurance companies would then be more willing to offer insurance policies to Canadian homeowners. When a flood inevitably happens at some point in the future, property owners would no longer fill out government forms to receive compensation; they would simply fill out an insurance claim with the private sector insurance company that sold them their policy.

This approach would represent a major cost savings for the federal government and for taxpayers. If one considers the cost of establishing and maintaining a standard database for flood mapping and flood forecasting, I think it is very reasonable to believe that the cost would be tiny compared to the billions of dollars of payouts that the federal government has made and will continue to make through the present disaster financial assistance arrangements program. For the vast majority of Canadians, the most valuable asset they will ever own is their home. It makes sense that as many Canadian homeowners as possible should have an insurance policy on their home that includes losses from flooding. With a properly functioning insurance market, perhaps over time, the disaster financial assistance arrangements program could be wound down, and taxpayers would no longer be on the hook whenever there is a flood.

In conclusion, sometimes the invisible hand of the market needs the helping hand of government. The need for accurate flood mapping and flood forecasting in the marketplace for flood insurance may be one of those times. Again, I would like to thank my colleague, the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Louis, for introducing the bill, and I look forward to studying it in more detail at the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

November 24th, 2023 / 1:50 p.m.
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Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, I too want to thank my colleague from Lac-Saint-Louis for introducing this bill. I also thank him for his environmental convictions and his great patience as chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

There have been, as we know, a lot of floods in Quebec over the past decades, and the related socio-economic costs have constantly increased, including health costs related to the trauma and mental health issues that the impacted people can develop afterwards. Floods and droughts are natural phenomena that are amplified by climate change. Adapting to the impacts of climate change will require public authorities to rely on science to guide public decision-making. This will involve ensuring access by the public and all stakeholders to relevant data on weather events, including droughts and floods.

A lot of that work is already being done by public authorities. It remains to be seen how a bill to establish a national strategy respecting the prevention of floods and droughts will improve current processes. However, I will say that the Bloc Québécois will support the bill, because we are not opposed to virtue.

We now that launching national strategies—gosh, I get so sick of the word “strategy” sometimes—is quite popular within the Liberal and NDP ranks, even though it usually results in the creation of laws, policies or committees that have no real effect beyond adding more bureaucracy and making people feel like they accomplished something.

By the way, we should take the opportunity to remind this House that Canada is not a national state with a population that represents a single people. As I have said before, words matter. There is no single Canadian nation. Canada is a society consisting of multiple nations, including the Canadian majority, the Quebec nation and the indigenous nations. Always using terminology like “national strategy” and “national policy” is a bit disingenuous. That said, it is well established that a country can flaunt diversity as a cardinal virtue while disregarding the diversity of nations that is at its core. I have a particular country in mind. I do not know if we are all thinking about the same one.

That being said, our primary concern about Bill C‑317 is its purpose. Why introduce such a bill? With all due respect to its sponsor, we are wondering if the provisions in the bill are liable to improve public action in any way, especially the ability of governments to plan and operate climate change adaptation measures. Indeed, that is what this is about: The phenomena identified in Bill C‑317 are accelerating and increasing and the climate crisis is to blame.

Again, when we hear the word “strategy” we think of military strategies. However, the dictionary defines it as the art of developing coordinated plans of action; a set of coordinated actions. That is interesting because the Government of Canada is already monitoring droughts through the Canadian Drought Monitor, or the CDM, as I mentioned in my question to my colleague. This tool “uses a variety of federal, provincial, and regional data sources to establish a single drought rating based on a five category system. These ratings are shared through monthly maps that show the extent and intensity of drought across Canada.”

Given that the Government of Canada already has operational tools within the CDM, how will Bill C‑317 add to that? Its preamble justifies it by stating that “current flood and drought forecasting in Canada is conducted by the provinces without coordination between them and with limited federal technical support.” I would like to emphasize the words “limited federal support”.

In this context, it would be wise to carefully analyze public actions related to the prevention and predictability of relevant climate events already undertaken by the provinces. Once that has been done, and knowing that technical support is limited, it seems to me that it is time to take action.

Let us take a look at what exists in Quebec. Quebec's flood protection plan presents sustainable solutions to better protect our living environments.

Quebec's plan is based on four areas of intervention. The first involves coherent flood mapping at the watershed level in order to study flood risks in Quebec. The second is to respond and provide oversight by ensuring consistent and strict development rules for flood zones, and by establishing rules governing flood protection structures. The third is planning and responding, in other words, planning responses at the watershed level through flood-related land use planning and support for the introduction of flood resilience and adaptation measures. The fourth is to learn and communicate, in other words, to improve flood predictability, support planning, learn about best practices, promote the development and maintenance of flood-related expertise, improve access to information by various segments of the population, and disseminate information on flood-related risks more effectively.

It is a rather comprehensive plan, and we are proud of ourselves.

There is also an app called Vigilance. I think that is a good name for it. This app helps Quebeckers to better prepare for flooding by keeping them informed of changes in water levels in each community. The app is a good way for municipal and government stakeholders to maximize the impact of their activities in case of emergency.

In general, we can say that the Government of Quebec is the one that has the expertise needed to protect its land and people from flooding. What is more, Quebec has an excellent strategy, the Québec Water Strategy, which is the result of serious government reflection that takes into account all past experience.

The strategy will be implemented through three successive action plans. Taken together, the measures put forward in the first action plan for 2018-2023 represent investments of over $550 million.

Quebec's strategy is working very well without any intervention from the federal government, which is not required to protect the environment or manage Quebec's natural resources. That being said, it is true that Environment Canada, through its weather service, already makes weather information and official weather warnings available to citizens, organizations, businesses, and provincial and territorial governments. This is really the best way to determine whether or not federal support is required. If it is required, how should that be set up?

We believe our study of the bill should involve trying to assess the need for coordination and technical support from the federal government. Furthermore, in assessing what is currently being done, how can existing detection and notification processes be improved? Are the technologies really up to date?

These are things that could be observed without necessarily resorting to a legislative mechanism. We believe that this study must absolutely be conducted in advance.

Finally, I will conclude by saying that the Bloc Québécois will be voting in favour of the bill introduced by my colleague from Lac-Saint-Louis. If there is truly a need, we have no reason to oppose the federal government's initiative to provide better quality weather information that public authorities will find easier to use. If that information contributes to the process and decision-making by public authorities when the time comes to plan preventive action for extreme weather events, so much the better. That is why we are voting in favour of the bill.

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

November 24th, 2023 / 2 p.m.
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Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, today we are speaking to Bill C-317, a private member's bill from the member for Lac-Saint-Louis. This bill asks the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, in consultation with the provinces, indigenous governments and municipal governments, to develop a national strategy for flood and drought forecasting. The strategy must assess the need for using new technologies in forecasting, the need for modelling to identify risk areas, the establishment of a national co-operative forecasting system and the preparation of a proposal for the establishment of a national hydrological forecasting service.

It is really hard to disagree with the premise of this bill. Floods and droughts are becoming more frequent and intense, causing billions of dollars of damage to infrastructure while destroying homes, crops and livelihoods. Home insurance premiums are steadily rising and in many cases homeowners cannot get flood insurance at all. Over 10% of Canadians cannot get flood insurance for their homes. In my riding of South Okanagan—West Kootenay, floods have devastated communities and rural areas.

In 2018, the town of Grand Forks was inundated by the Kettle and Granby rivers. Five years later, the community is still struggling to deal with the fallout of that event. Families lost their homes, businesses were forced to close and whole neighbourhoods have disappeared.

In 2021, an atmospheric river event caused catastrophic damage to the communities of Princeton and Merritt, just west of my riding, and caused over $5 billion in reconstruction. Those communities are still trying to recover.

This year has been literally off the charts for extreme weather around the world. Air temperature records were set on every continent. Ocean temperatures were so high that scientists could scarcely believe the data they were seeing. Ice sheets and glaciers were disappearing before our eyes. Catastrophic wildfires raged across Canada, Europe and around the world. Precipitation patterns have been thrown out the window. Intense rainfall events brought flash floods to major cities around the world.

I just came back from Ghana and Cameroon in Africa. Everyone there was saying the dry season has failed to materialize. The rain just will not stop.

We are living the effects of climate change and we must adapt to the consequences of our addiction to fossil fuels, because even if we stopped all our carbon emissions tomorrow, the floods, droughts and fires we are experiencing now will keep happening for centuries to come. It will not get better and we can only hope we will act quickly enough to make sure it does not get significantly worse. It is obvious that we would benefit from better forecasting of these extreme weather events. That is, of course, what this bill seeks to do.

Now, in Canada, operational flood forecasting is a provincial responsibility but the rising threats and rising costs call for better forecasting that is more coordinated across provincial boundaries. The data that goes into flood forecasting modelling and drought forecasting must come from multiple jurisdictions.

In my riding, floods mainly result when deep snow packs are met with sudden heat waves or intense rain on snow events, or both. As the rivers rise, we anxiously watch the river gauge levels. While the rivers in my riding do not cross provincial boundaries, they do cross the U.S. border, sometimes multiple times. So when the Kettle River is rising, we watch the gauge at Westbridge, operated by the B.C. government, then the gauge in Ferry County in Washington, operated by the U.S. government, and then another gauge operated by the U.S. government at Laurier.

A similar thing happens in the Okanagan Valley. During spring freshet, the flow of the Okanagan River is usually highly regulated by a series of small dams at each of the lakes but at that time, the Similkameen River is 10 times larger than the Okanagan, flowing out of the North Cascades at Princeton, crossing the border, and joining the Okanagan River at Oroville, Washington. The massive spring flow of the Similkameen literally swamps the Okanagan River, and even though the Okanagan is regulated by a dam operated by the International Joint Commission in Oroville, that dam is overtopped by the Similkameen flow and water moves upstream into Osoyoos Lake. That is how Osoyoos Lake floods with water coming upstream from Washington state and blocking the outflow of the Okanagan River.

These are a couple of examples showing why flood forecasting and operational decisions resulting from that forecasting need to be coordinated across all levels government, even international levels. The Red River in Manitoba is another famous example of that.

I mentioned earlier that snowpack monitoring is a critical part of flood forecasting in Canada, particularly in British Columbia, where mountain snowpacks linger well into the warm spring and summer months. The snowpacks in the B.C. mountains are the deepest in the world. In British Columbia, most snowpack measurement stations are operated by the provincial government, but some are run by agencies managing large hydro dams such as BC Hydro, and companies like Rio Tinto and Metro Vancouver. Again, coordination is important.

Another reason that coordination is critical is that forecasting and quantifying future precipitation events is notoriously difficult and requires modelling with very large computers. Canada's federal system has resulted in flood forecasting systems being managed separately by every province and territory, as well as some municipalities and conservation authorities. Coordination is minimal, and data collection often does not mesh between jurisdictions. Early warning systems vary as well.

This means that the ability to forecast flooding varies considerably from province to province, from watershed to watershed. The strategy called for in this bill could be helpful, but it is also important to point out that we are moving in that direction already.

The flood hazard identification and mapping program run by Natural Resources Canada is providing valuable information for all levels of government outlining exactly what areas are threatened by rising waters.

Now droughts are a somewhat different problem, operating on a longer time scale than floods, but they are still devastating to Canadians, especially Canadian farmers in dry landscapes who rely on water for their crops. The Okanagan Valley is one of the best examples of that. As dry summers come earlier and last longer, the demands for irrigation water grow. Those demands begin to come up against increasing demands for domestic water needs.

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research centre in Summerland has scientists dedicated to developing better projections for future drought conditions. Droughts are also impacting water flows in the Columbia River system. Those flows are controlled by the Columbia River Treaty, and under the present treaty, Canada is obliged to provide water to the United States for power production.

Recent summers have seen Canadian reservoirs drawn down so much that local residents are having difficulty accessing recreational opportunities while American boaters enjoy full pools above their dams. Water temperatures in the Columbia River are now often lethal to salmon migrating upriver to the Okanagan River in late summer, negating much of the positive impacts that salmon restoration programs have made. This calls for international co-operation, and in this case, a renegotiated Columbia River Treaty that recognizes the impacts of climate change on the availability and quality of our precious water resources.

While flood and drought forecasting is critical, we should not forget another aspect of extreme weather brought to us by a changing climate, and that is catastrophic wildfire. Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops is setting up an institute for wildfire science, adaptation and resiliency. There, Dr. Mike Flannigan is perfecting predictive modelling that could tell us where wildfires would occur in the coming weeks.

This would allow wildfire crews to deploy to regions in anticipation of significant fire behaviour. That way we can be on the ground fighting fires when they are small, before they turn into monsters that destroy millions of hectares of forests and are only extinguished by winter snows. We need a national wildfire forecasting service as well as a national wildfire fighting force that could respond promptly to the predictions produced by that forecasting.

As I said at the beginning, it is hard to disagree with the premise of this bill. I can only say that the need for better predictive powers to forecast floods, droughts and fires is so patently obvious that I would have thought that the government should not have to wait for a Liberal MP to bring forward a private member's bill to debate in this place to force the government to do that.

The bill gives the government two years to develop a strategy for the preparation of a proposal for the establishment of a national hydrological forecasting service. I know the federal system is messy at times, and some provinces might object to federal efforts to build a better forecasting service, but these efforts should have begun years ago.

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

November 24th, 2023 / 2:10 p.m.
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Pierrefonds—Dollard Québec


Sameer Zuberi LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague and friend, the member for Lac-Saint-Louis, for introducing this important bill.

This bill is very important. It would help Canada protect those who are facing severe floods. It would also give us a national strategy to address floods and drought forecasting. This, as we know, is the way of the future.

Climate change is real. It is impacts us throughout the country. We saw terrible forest fires in B.C. We saw flooding in my own riding of Pierrefonds—Dollard. We saw Nova Scotia, in July of this year, have terrible floods due to precipitation. As the member for Lac-Saint-Louis said, this strategy will help us forecast and see what is happening before it hits us.

I have taken considerable time to visit the flood areas in Pierrefonds—Dollard. I have toured the flood zones with the former Île Bizard mayor, Stéphane Côté, somebody I call a friend and who works extremely diligently for his community. He made sure that I was able to to see first-hand the infrastructure he was putting in place.

People in 2017 and 2019 were extremely stressed. They lost their property and their homes. They lost their life savings. They had to deal with trauma as a result of losing their life savings. I met residents whose households were suffering from the effects of flooding for years after. The echo effects due to loss of their entire properties included depression within their households and stress upon their families. It was extremely difficult for them to bear.

When we talk about legislation to create a national strategy around flooding and drought forecasting, it is about much more than protecting property and protecting people's homes. It also has mental health impacts for our society and community.

The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Louis has done extremely important work through the committee he chairs, the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. Through this committee, he has brought forth issues relating to water and the environment. That is why I am so happy to see him bring this legislation to the floor today, legislation that I hope this entire House will support together.

We heard from members of the other parties. They said that the Quebec government does not need the federal government's support.

That is not the case. Take, for example, the new protected space in Anticosti. This space has just been designated a UNESCO heritage site. That means Anticosti is protected. This is in contrast and contradiction, respectfully, to what the leader of the Bloc said recently, which is that the space in Anticosti should instead be a site for drilling oil. The site is in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The Liberal Party is seeking to protect land, seeking to protect against flooding and seeking to protect heritage sites. Going back to my riding in the area of West Island and to the Montreal area, the federal government has invested millions of dollars to prevent flooding and to protect the environment. We invested $50 million in the area of Pierrefonds to bring improvements to and protect a park called Grand parc de l’Ouest.

The human impacts of flooding are real. I have seen families that have been impacted. I have visited the sites within both Pierrefonds and Île-Bizard. In Île Mercier, which is a small island in Île-Bizard, and a beautiful space, the homes are also subject to potential flooding each and every year. As the spring waters come in, I have seen the anxiety of the residents who are looking, each and every day, at the water level as it rises. The forecasting this bill would bring would help alleviate that anxiety. It would help us plan better to avoid the loss of property and stress on individuals. The real-time data this legislation would provide would help Canada face climate change into the future. It would ensure that we are equipped and better able to adapt to the changing environment and the changes we fully expect to see.

Our government is committed to helping Canadians better adapt to extreme weather environments. This includes floods and droughts. It is already implementing key activities in relation to floods and drought forecasting. Take, for example, Environment and Climate Change Canada's meteorological service, the National Hydrological Service, which acts as the national authority responsible for the collection, interpretation and dissemination of standardized water resource data and information in Canada. It administers the national hydrometric programs by way of collaboration and cost-sharing with provinces and territories to help people. The national Hydrological Service operates 2,256 of the 2,922 water monitoring stations across the country. It also consolidates water quality data.

In closing, I want to express my clear support for the bill of my friend and colleague, my neighbouring member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Louis. I have learned so much from him with respect to this work. He has preceded me by many years, but I see how he serves his community diligently, and I take the example he offers. When it comes to protecting the environment and water, I know he is sincere in his work and is bringing forth legislation that would not only help benefit the residents of his riding and those being flooded throughout Quebec and other parts of the country, but also uplift our entire world by extension.

I hope all members of the House will support the bill.

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

November 24th, 2023 / 2:20 p.m.
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The Acting Speaker Bloc Gabriel Ste-Marie

The time provided for the consideration of Private Members' Business has now expired and the order is dropped to the bottom of the order of precedence on the Order Paper.

It being 2:22 p.m., the House stands adjourned until next Monday at 11 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 2:22 p.m.)

The House resumed from November 24, 2023, consideration of the motion that Bill C-317, An Act to establish a national strategy respecting flood and drought forecasting, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

February 12th, 2024 / 11 a.m.
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Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge you because you are my MP when we are here in Ottawa. I live in your riding of Gatineau.

Climate change is real. Humans are contributing to climate change and so humans need to help reduce the impact of it. The bill that was introduced by my colleague from Lac-Saint-Louis seeks to “establish a national strategy respecting flood and drought forecasting”.

I want to commend the member for his commitment to this issue. He is the chair of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. Right now, the committee is conducting a study on water quality and the challenges related to the impacts of climate change on water. We are having some very interesting discussions on that. Dozens of witnesses are contributing to the debate. We are tremendously pleased about that. Last Thursday, a lot of people from Quebec were there. It was highly informative. I would like to commend the member for his bill and for his participation in the public debate on environmental issues.

Basically, this bill seeks to create a national registry of environmental and water initiatives in order to identify and share best practices from across Canada. It also talks about what the government and the public can do to improve the situation. That is basically what it is about.

We agree in principle with this bill. Coordinating the provinces' general actions is part of the federal government's job, along with sharing best practices and pooling information on what can be done and how to do it. However, this presents certain challenges.

We know that, as it happens, the current government is a bit greedy when it comes to the watershed line, as it were, between what the provinces can do and what the feds can do. It has a penchant for interfering. Let us not forget Bill C-69. The federal government gave itself veto power over hydroelectric projects, including projects in Quebec. This has never been done before. If, heaven forbid, the federal government had had veto power over the hydroelectric projects that were developed in the 1950s and carried out in the 1960s, we might not have as many good facilities as we do now, as many good hydroelectric plants. We have to be alert when this government suggests coordinating actions, because the most important thing it must do is respect the different areas of jurisdiction. I will give a specific example.

Last spring, we all saw the fires ravaging several parts of Canada. On June 5, the Leader of the Opposition, the member for Carleton, made a commitment, saying it would be great if we could share the best ways to fight forest fires, including with CL-415 water bombers. I should note that the CL-415, which fights forest fires, is a completely Canadian invention that we can all be proud of. We are proud that it is used around the world. We are recognized as being the best in the world in this area. However, we still need to look after our own country. That is why the Leader of the Opposition suggested that better coordination could help when the time comes to fight forest fires.

We have a concern about that. As for flooding, I would like to remind the House that our party, the Conservatives, has been in favour of conservation for years. I offer our 2019 campaign platform as proof. Our platform included a very long, substantial section on issues related to flooding, water and conservation. I would like to acknowledge our former colleague from Manitoba, Robert Sopuck, who contributed a lot to this section. He is still advocating for the environment and conservation, especially water, within our party, and we are very proud of him.

We have been aware of this reality for years. The work must be done, but it must be done collaboratively. When we study the bill in committee, our questions will be focused on finding out whether it will lead to new spending. We believe the Canadian government currently has enough human resources to provide assistance and work on reducing the environmental impact. We also have to ensure these people can do their job properly in their field of expertise. Sharing knowledge and best practices does not require hiring new people.

Let me remind members that whenever the government spends a dollar, it is not the government's dollar it is spending. That money comes from taxpayers and businesses or from tax that was collected and is being invested elsewhere. This is why we will be very vigilant when looking into this situation, because every dollar spent is not the government's dollar, but one it has taken from the pockets of taxpayers or businesses who would want to spend it differently. Care must be taken in these situations.

I also want to say that the environment is of paramount importance to us and that we must deal with climate challenges. I would remind the House that in September, we held a national convention that was attended by more than 2,500 people. At that convention, the leader of the official opposition, who is the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and member for Carleton, gave a very important speech that we Conservatives now refer to as the “Quebec City speech”. It was not our election platform, but it expressed the party's broad ambitions, the overall vision we will have if we should happen to be lucky enough to be entrusted by Canadians to form the next government. We will let Canadians decide.

A key part of that speech involved environmental issues. Our leader recognized, like everyone else, that climate change is real, that we need to adapt to it and that adapting means taking an approach that is pragmatic, not dogmatic. The goal is to reduce pollution across the country. Reducing pollution is a daily challenge that never ends.

Reducing, reducing, it is a never-ending story. We have a continuous debate, a continuous fight, against emissions and against pollution, but we have to reduce it by pragmatic actions, not dogmatic taxation.

That is why our leader carefully laid out the three pillars of our environmental approach, along with everything underpinning it.

The first pillar is investment in new technologies to reduce pollution through tax incentives. We are well aware that the new technologies that are currently being developed the key to reducing pollution. We need to provide tax incentives. That does not mean per-tonne subsidies, but tax credits to help people who know why they are polluting find a way to reduce that pollution. We in Ottawa are not going to tell them what to do, but we are going to encourage them to take action to reduce pollution through tax incentives.

The second pillar is green-lighting green energy. We need green energy in Canada. We need more solar and wind power. We need geothermal power. We also need to be more open to nuclear energy. We need to speed up the green energy process by green-lighting it.

The third pillar is developing Canada's full potential. Canada has all the know-how it needs to reduce pollution. We have tremendous energy capabilities. Our extraordinary natural resources are the envy of every country in the world. It is unfortunate that we are not developing our full potential. Why is that?

Here is an example. Last week, the École des hautes études commerciales published its annual report on energy use in Quebec, which told us two things. First, fossil fuel consumption in Quebec has increased by 7%. Second, 48% of the oil consumed in Quebec comes from the United States. I have nothing against Louisiana and Texas, but why are we sending billions of dollars to the United States when we produce oil in this country? We need to develop Canada's full potential when it comes to energy and natural resources.

There is a fourth element, which is the cornerstone of the three pillars, in a way: We have to work hand in hand with first nations. Last March, the man we want to be prime minister, the member for Carleton and Leader of the Opposition, made a commitment to first nations. He said the days of giving them a cheque and then asking them to get out of the way were over. He promised to work with first nations and create wealth when something happens on their traditional territory. This commitment was confirmed last Thursday in British Columbia.

The future belongs to those who capitalize on high tech, green energy, Canadian potential and working hand in hand with first nations. That is our environmental approach.

National Strategy on Flood and Drought Forecasting ActPrivate Members' Business

February 12th, 2024 / 11:10 a.m.
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Kristina Michaud Bloc Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to rise today to talk about Bill C-317, because floods have always been part of our lives, but they are happening more and more frequently as a result of climate change.

This is true in Quebec, it is true in the rest of Canada, and it is true pretty much everywhere else in the world. The floods keep coming back every spring. They can be traumatic for people whose communities are repeatedly flooded.

That is what happened to the municipality of Matapédia in my riding. An advisory committee made up of the mayor, representatives of Quebec's ministry of emergency preparedness and the Canadian Coast Guard, and residents who are very familiar with the Restigouche River and its mouth has been monitoring the water levels every year for years now. These people have significant expertise in helping prevent flooding. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to stop the waters from rising, so it is becoming an increasingly serious problem for many municipalities.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, costs related to flooding have quadrupled in Canada in the past 40 years. That is serious. We need a climate change adaptation strategy.

Most of Quebec's population lives near the water system, and approximately 80% of shoreline municipalities are at risk of flooding. As I said earlier, this is true pretty much across the country, and it is true in my riding, which has the St. Lawrence and other rivers. Water levels have gotten very high. That contributes to the risk of flooding.

Climate upheaval is likely to make the flooding worse. We need to be prepared. This bill says that we should have a national flood and drought strategy. That is not a bad idea. There are always plenty of people stepping up and taking action, but these people do not necessarily communicate with each other.

Do we need better communication among stakeholders? I think we do. Is a strategy, which means more bureaucracy, the right solution? Perhaps not. We need to really assess the needs of the various stakeholders, including the Quebec government, which has revised its own very effective strategy in recent years.

Quebec knows a thing or two about this. It was hit by major flooding in 2017 and 2019. In 2017, flood waters affected 293 municipalities in 15 regions, forcing the evacuation of more than 4,000 people in Quebec. It was even worse in 2019, when more than 10,000 people in 240 municipalities had to evacuate their homes. There is also the issue of how to help these people and compensation for flood victims.

The Quebec government turned these traumatic events into an opportunity to improve its strategy, particularly with regard to flood zone mapping. It discovered that, in greater Montreal, 40% of the people surveyed said they did not know that their property was in a flood-prone area. We were talking about the regions and the fact that coastal and waterfront communities can be in a flood zone. This is less of an issue in larger cities, but it may be the case in a number of municipalities where there is a risk of flooding. Informing the public and local elected officials about the risks and how to prepare for them is a first step.

As I already said, we agree with the principle of this bill. If there are any issues, let us identify them and try to find solutions. The strategy that is already in place in Quebec, its flood protection plan, focuses on four action areas to protect our communities.

The first action area is mapping. The objective is to map flood-prone areas at the watershed level in a consistent manner to enable flood risk analysis in Quebec. I recently went through the mapping analysis that the Government of Quebec will table sometime this spring. It shows that a majority of Quebeckers may be in for some bad news regarding their ability to get flood insurance for their homes.

In the next few days, the mapping will show the degree to which several municipalities are at risk, as I was saying. Obviously, we know that the risk of flooding will increase as a result of climate change. Exhaustive analyses have been done to map flood zones, and the recent disasters were even taken into account. For example, there was the flooding in Baie‑Saint‑Paul in spring 2023. That just happened, and these disasters are already being used as examples to prepare for the future. This first section on mapping is rather interesting.

The second action area is called “Réagir et encadrer”, or reacting and regulating. It talks about ensuring standard and strict application of development standards in flood zones and establishing rules around flood protection work.

The third action area is called “Planifier et intervenir”, or planning and intervening. It focuses on planning, at the watershed level, flood-related land-use interventions and supporting the implementation of flooding resilience and adaptation measures.

The fourth and final action area is called “Connaître et communiquer”, or knowing and communicating. The objectives consist in improving flooding forecasting, supporting planning, acquiring knowledge on best practices, fostering the development and maintenance of flooding expertise, improving access to information for different audiences, and ensuring better distribution of information on flooding risks.

In that regard, we have implemented the Vigilance app, which helps Quebeckers be better prepared for flooding by keeping them informed of rising water levels in Quebec. That is really useful. As I was saying at the beginning of my speech, it is very important to keep citizens informed of the risk of flooding. That is one of the first steps, and it is a very good one.

As I mentioned, the fourth action area focuses on communication, and that is something that I think definitely needs to be improved. As I was saying, we are seeing this in Matapédia, in my riding. Every year, a committee meets to monitor the rising water levels and the ice melt.

What is happening with the Canadian Coast Guard's hovercraft is that they start their route elsewhere in Canada. They have a lot of rivers and waterways to deal with. Matapédia is one of their last stops. Often, it is too little, too late. I think that communication with the Coast Guard is extremely important. I think that it is fundamental that the Government of Quebec and the governments of the other provinces communicate directly with the federal government, specifically with the Coast Guard, and that local authorities are also able to communicate directly with the Coast Guard.

We also need better funding and support. In developing this national strategy, it would be important to ask experts the following question if they testify before the committee: What is needed, and what is the federal government not doing right now? I think better support for disaster victims is important. We need better funding too.

This new mapping of Quebec tells us that we will progressively know more about what is predictable and which regions are really at risk, as opposed to those at medium or low risk. We will no longer be able to say that floods were not foreseeable. Perhaps emergency funds or emergency funding plans by the federal government will not universally apply in those areas where floods were foreseeable. Perhaps recurring budgets should be set aside for areas that are at high risk. Maybe that question needs to be asked.

However, better funding of the Canadian Coast Guard can certainly be part of the solution. Only two hovercrafts can travel virtually across the country to the very end of the line in Matapédia, which is part of my riding. It is a shame, but in many cases it is too little, too late. Things went well last year. We were spared from the worst of it, as they say.

There is less snow than usual these days. I think everyone realizes that, in Quebec at least. Will this have a positive impact? Perhaps. Will there be less ice melt and therefore the water will not rise as much? Perhaps. Then again, will there be more precipitation? That is another possibility.

Having good mapping and good communication is key, I think. I thank the member who introduced this bill. I would like to discuss it further with him.