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Canada unveils $1.2B disaster climate plan

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VANCOUVER, CANADA: An aerial view of cherry blossom trees along the street in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on March 24, 2022. (Mert Alper Derviş - Anadolu Agency)
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Nov 25, 2022 - 03:21 AM

TRENTON, Canada (AA) – The Canadian government unveiled a new CAN$1.6 billion ($1.2 billion) five-year climate action plan Thursday to help deal with storms, floods and forest fires.

Canada has been hit with several disasters due to climate change and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair announced the new strategy while in Prince Edward Island (PEI), where hurricane Fiona caused widespread damage estimated at CAN$660 million (US$495 million) on Sept. 24.

Called Environment and Climate Change Canada, the plan took almost two years to develop and is meant to prepare the country to meet the threats of the worst aspects of climate change.

“Our collective actions have often been insufficient or disjointed, and have not resulted in the swiftness and scale of adaptation that communities in Canada require,” the report states.

Two of Canada’s east coast provinces – PEI and Nova Scotia – on the Atlantic Ocean face severe erosion threats while wildfires have decimated the west coast and heavily forested province of British Columbia in recent years.

The new funding adds to existing financial programs but it leaves open proposals like the plan to build dikes to protect the shorelines of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. How the costs of that project will be split between the provinces and the federal government has not yet been decided.

The new announcement adds CAN$489 million ($367 million) to a federal disaster fund, CAN$284 million ($213 million) to improve wildfire prevention methods, CAN$164 million ($123 million) on identifying communities at risk of flooding and lesser amounts for infrastructure improvement and programs to help Canadians cope with higher temperatures.

Scientific data shows that the temperature is rising all across Canada. In Lytton, British Columbia, the temperature hit a record high of 49.6C (121.3F) in June 2021.

The Canadian Climate Institute estimated that climate change could reduce Canada’s economic growth by CAN$25 billion ($18.76 billion) by 2025, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The new climate strategy will be updated every five years, officials said.

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