Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), scientists at Natural Resources Canada, NRCan, have published various peer-reviewed, scientific papers based on the original data collected for the report entitled “Coastal Impacts of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise on Prince Edward Island” since its release in June 2001. These include the following:
Webster, T.L., Forbes, D.L., Dickie, S., and Shreenan, R. (2004). Using topographic LiDAR to map flood risk from storm-surge events for Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 30 (1), 64-76. Forbes, D.L., Parkes, G.S., Manson, G.K., and Ketch, L.A. (2004). Storms and shoreline retreat in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. Marine Geology, 210, 169-204. O’Reilly, C.T., Forbes, D.L., and Parkes, G.S. (2005). Defining and adapting to coastal hazards in Atlantic Canada: facing the challenge of rising sea levels, storm surges and shoreline erosion in a changing climate. Ocean Yearbook, 19, 189-207 Webster, T.L. and Forbes, D.L. (2006). Airborne laser altimetry for predictive modelling of coastal storm-surge flooding. In: Remote Sensing of Aquatic Coastal Ecosystem Processes: Science and Management Applications (Richardson, L.L. and LeDrew, E.F., editors). Springer, Dordrecht, 157 182.
NRCan has not updated the actual report entitled “Coastal Impacts of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise on Prince Edward Island” since its release in June 2001.
In response to (b), NRCan has monitored closely the conditions in Prince Edward Island and has conducted field reconnaissance following some major storms. These activities provided the basis for public presentations in Prince Edward Island during 2009 and 2010.
In December of 2010, NRCan and university partners deployed two temporary wave and tide gauges offshore of Brackley Beach, Northern Prince Edward Island, to measure waves under sea ice in support of a doctoral research project. An attempt at recovery of these instruments was made in April 2011, but was unsuccessful. Another attempt is planned in the summer of 2011. These results could provide insight into near-shore sediment transport under conditions of reduced sea ice and changing storminess, important considerations under changing climate in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.
In response to (c), in December 2007 the Government of Canada announced that funding would be provided for climate change adaptation. In 2009, NRCan implemented a $30M Regional Adaptation Collaborative, RAC, program that brings together provincial and municipal governments as well as other important regional decision-makers. The goal of this national program is to advance climate change adaptation decision-making locally to deal with regionally specific challenges and thereby increase Canada’s resilience to a changing climate. The Atlantic RAC was established as part of this program and is addressing a variety of climate change impacts, including sea level rise.
Through the Tools for Adaptation Program, NRCan is working in collaboration with the Canadian Institute of Planners, CIP, to ensure that scientific research and information on climate change impacts, including rising sea levels, will be considered in planning practice Canada-wide.
In response to (d), in March 2009 the Hon. Richard Brown, Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry for the Government of P.E.I., attended one of the NRCan public presentations referenced in part (b). Following the presentation, the minister commended NRCan for the value of the event, noted the importance of comprehensive information on the subject, and requested that NRCan be available to offer future advice. Since that time, NRCan has, when asked, offered incidental technical advice to the P.E.I. Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry.