Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Abitibi—Témiscamingue.
Climate change and its impacts are global in nature and complex. Advancing our understanding of climate change in Canada is a key priority for our government, and we believe that a rigorous evidence base is foundational to make sound policy decisions and to take action on climate change.
This past April, we released Canada’s Changing Climate Report, which lays out a comprehensive look into how Canada’s climate has changed in the past and how it may change in the future. The assessment confirms, through overwhelming evidence, that Canada’s climate has warmed in the past and will continue to warm in the future as a result of carbon emissions from human activity. On average, this warming has been double the global rate, with even faster rates of warming in the Arctic.
The effects of this rapid warming are widespread and alarming. Extreme weather events, such as flooding, are expected to become more frequent and intense in the future. In 2017, Rivière-des-Mille-Îles experienced the flood of the century. In 2019, flooding hit Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, which is right next to my riding. Everyone could see what was happening on the news. These extreme events will be increasingly common in the future.
The availability of fresh water is changing, leading to increased risk of droughts in the summer. Sea level rise will put our coastal communities at risk. We are already seeing profound impacts in Canada on human health and well-being, the environment and all sectors of the economy. Recent extreme weather events, like the 2019 floods in Ontario and Quebec I just mentioned, wildfires in British Columbia in 2017 and the Fort McMurray wildfires in 2016, underscore this urgent need for action to better prepare Canadians to adapt to climate change.
The emotional and financial shock of losing homes and businesses to fire, flooding and storm surges is having lasting impacts on Canadians' lives and well-being.
Through the findings of Canada's Changing Climate Report, we know that the need to act is undeniable. Mobilizing action on adaptation will help protect Canadians from climate change risks, build resilience and ensure that society continues to thrive in a changing climate. The scope of the challenge we are facing requires co-operation, leadership, creativity and commitment.
To meet this challenge, the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, adopted on December 9, 2016, sets out our national plan for meeting Canada's GHG emissions reduction target, building resilience to the impacts of climate change and enabling clean growth and jobs through investments in technology, innovation and infrastructure.
Recognizing that climate resilience is a long-term challenge, adaptation and climate resilience is one of the four pillars of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.
Under the adaptation and climate resilience pillar of the pan-Canadian framework, federal, provincial and territorial governments made commitments to address the significant risks posed by climate change, particularly in Canada’s northern and coastal regions and for indigenous peoples.
It represents the first time that federal, provincial, and territorial governments have identified priority areas for collaboration to build resilience to a changing climate across the country. To support the pan-Canadian framework, the federal government has launched a broad suite of adaptation programming.
In Budget 2017, our government announced $260 million for federal adaptation programs related to information and capacity, climate-resilient infrastructure, human health and well-being, vulnerable regions and climate-related hazards and disaster risks.
Building on these commitments, we are also investing $22 billion in green and resilient infrastructure to both boost economic growth and build resilient communities.
These investments include $9.2 billion for bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories, with funding specifically allocated for adaptation and climate-resilient infrastructure.
This also includes $2 billion for a disaster mitigation and adaptation fund for built and natural, large-scale infrastructure projects that build the resilience of our infrastructure to natural disasters, extreme weather events and climate change.
This $2-billion fund is very important, as it will help us to adapt. This is particularly important in the Mille-Îles and Montreal regions, where we have experienced significant climate change resulting in the recent flooding.
Since the disaster mitigation and adaptation fund launched in 2018, our government has announced funding for 26 projects that will help communities across the country cope, adapt to, prepare for and withstand extreme storms, flooding and fire.
We are also ensuring that our future infrastructure investments are taking climate change and its impacts into account. Under Canada’s infrastructure plan, applicants who seek federal funding for major infrastructure projects, from transit projects to community centres, are asked to assess the risks they face as a result of climate change and how these risks can be mitigated. This initiative is helping us build climate-smart infrastructure and ensuring that we are not locking in climate risks for decades to come.
Adaptation is not just about building the biggest and strongest infrastructure. It is also about how we build communities that are sustainable and resilient in every sense. It is about the decisions we make on where and how to live, how we run our businesses, and how we support our neighbours. Promoting social resilience means that we support vulnerable populations through times of change.
We also strongly believe that adaptation decisions should be based on the best available science and information. Again, it is very important to have the scientific data available, and this science has to be available to the people making adaptation decisions in a format that they can use.
This is why our government established the Canadian Centre for Climate Services, which was launched last year. This new and innovative service has consolidated data, tools and information onto an interactive website that supports Canadians in understanding and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
From globally accepted models, the Centre has derived an interactive map of climate conditions. Canadians can find out how the climate is changing in their city. For example, how much hotter will my summers be over the next 20 years? Will there be more rain, more or less snow?
If Canadians cannot find the information they are looking for, or need help to understand it, they can call or email to reach a climate expert.
As the federal government, we play a crucial role. We generate climate change information, guidance and tools to help Canadians adapt at all levels. We help build capacity in other orders of government, in communities and in the private sector to assess and respond to risks. We can also lead by example, by building resilience into federal assets, programs and services against the impacts of climate change.
While we continue to do great work at home, it is also important to recognize that Canada is not alone. Climate change is a global challenge that requires global solutions. This is why Canada has joined together with the Netherlands and other nations to show leadership on climate change and the environment through the work of the Global Commission on Adaptation.
The Global Commission on Adaptation was convened to elevate the visibility of climate change adaptation with a focus on identifying and encouraging solutions. Adapting to climate change is a challenge, but also an opportunity, an opportunity to create and expand into new markets with Canadian technologies and know-how, like growing food in cold climates.
There is so much to say about climate change and everything we are doing to tackle it.