The House of Commons held an emergency debate Wednesday night over the floods in British Columbia amid growing concern over how the country is unprepared for the effects of climate change.
Prime Minister Justin trudeau used the controversy to reassure the British Columbians that the federal government, which has already sent more than 500 Canadian troops, will be on hand to help and rebuild the flooded and deadly mud.
But he also took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of taking action against climate change.
“We know this is not the only issue,” he told the House.
Trudeau noted that BC experienced severe wildfires and extreme heat, which lead to summer and that Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador are currently experiencing flooding due to heavy rainfall.
“If the last year has shown us anything, then the effects of climate change have come sooner than we expect and they are devastating,” Trudeau said.
He promised to put “all the power of government and our commitment behind real-life situations,” including measures to reduce carbon emissions and a way to change the world.
Although his government has already set aside “funds” to fund the construction of solid weapons, Trudeau has promised to increase town financing through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.
Emergency Planning Minister Bill Blair has repeatedly stressed that the future prevention of climate change will mean “new money.”
Vancouver Green Island MP Elizabeth May said her husband’s farm was holding “refugees for climate change” for the second time this year. The country, he said, is now on the verge of firing “afterwards” a target to keep global temperatures above 1.5 C. because no country, including Canada, is doing what is needed.
Counselors hold emergency talks on #BC #floods, climate change. #CDNpoli
“This is not about bad weather. It is about whether human development can survive,” he told Commons. “No problem can be too difficult, the problems can’t be bigger.”
Among other things, May said the government should ban the work of expanding the oil pipeline in TransMountain and appoint people to work on rebuilding the affected areas and the infrastructure that needs to be repaired in the future.
Independent MP Ed Fast, whose ascent to Abbotsford is in the middle of the BC flood zone, took a closer look at recent accidents and the needs of those affected. However, she also admits: “Time is not on our side.
“Such events will be accompanied by a continuous increase. The effects of climate change are evident,” he said.
Fast said both governments in Canada and the US were aware of the floods in Abbotsford but did not do anything to stop them.
“Most importantly, we all knew the dangers and we should have seen it coming but nothing happened.”
Conservatives, Greens and the NDP all filed an emergency petition, which was supported by both parties.
The storm, which caused 300 mm of rainfall in southern BC earlier last week, caused mudslides and washed away highways that killed four people and temporarily cut off access to the Vancouver region of Canada. The floodwaters also washed away canals, destroyed reservoirs, and drove thousands of people out of their homes.
On Tuesday, two states in Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency when a storm hit the east coast, washing away roads and bridges.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, a town southwest of the Channel-Port aux Basques was left stranded as rain washed away parts of the Trans-Canada Highway and the only other way in and out of town.
Meanwhile, Dale Beugin, vice president of the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, said interest has been focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to reduce climate change. The fact is, he said, that the weather forecast has already arrived.
“Transformation has been around for a long time as a poor cousin of climate change principles,” he said. “And this is starting to change now but I think we feel it needs to change very quickly, because of the terrible disasters we see across the country.”
The government said in a statement Tuesday that it will ensure that the promised land reform plan is completed by the end of next year, in order to integrate federal plans, districts and municipalities, as well as climate change.
A number of reports in recent years have highlighted Canada’s most vulnerable to climate change, which often points to infrastructure such as roads, bridges and power grids, the North, fishing and health and human life.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Insurance Bureau of Canada conducted a study in 2019 on funding to meet the needs of Canadian cities and towns and determined that approximately $ 5.3 billion is needed from various governments each year.
It is not known how much money is being spent here, although BC NDP MP Richard Cannings says it is less than one-fifth of it.
The Global Disaster Risk Reduction Fund has provided nearly $ 3.4 billion to help states pay for transformational services over the next 10-12 years. There are also funds that have been promised to help deal with wildfires and to create better flood maps.
Federation President Joanne Vanderheyden, mayor of Ontario municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc, said in the election that she had asked all parties to donate another $ 2 billion to the disaster fund over the next three years, and $ 1 billion a year after that.
“It’s a number we believe could be the starting point so you know, add it every year,” he said.
No party has agreed on the same question, he said, but with devastating images along the coast, it did not appear to be necessary.
“We can do this,” he said. “We have to move, it’s important, we have to do it now.”
This report from The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2021.
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