Connect with us

News

Adapting to climate change faster will save Canada billions, new analysis shows – CBC News

Published

 on


Canadians will see lower incomes and a choice between higher taxes or fewer government services if there isn’t more effort to adapt to the changing climate, a new report from The Canadian Climate Institute warns.

But according to the report released Wednesday, if governments and the private sector buckle up and start investing in making Canada more resilient to the effects of extreme weather, the economic impact of climate change can be cut by 75 per cent.

“The good news story is we have some ability to change this future,” said Ryan Ness, the director of adaptation research for the climate institute.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

In its analysis, called Damage Control, the institute looked at projected economic growth and analyzed the effect of different scenarios based on how many greenhouse gas emissions are eliminated and what we do to prepare for more frequent severe weather.

The worst news is that in every scenario, Canada’s climate is already changing and more severe weather — drought, forest fires, flooding and damaging storms — is already upon us.

In 2021, severe weather caused $2.1 billion in insured damages, which does not include costs related to public infrastructure or uninsured private losses.

The analysis estimates that Canada is already looking at annual disaster recovery bills of $5 billion by 2025 and $17 billion by 2050, regardless of how well Canada and the rest of the world do at cutting emissions.

A construction worker uses a tape measure as he adds siding to new homes. Construction will get an economic boost, but only because it needs to step in to repair and replace damaged structures and transportation corridors, a new report says. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

It says that to prevent a loss in government services, including to health care or education, income taxes would have to increase by 0.35 per cent in 2025, compared to now, and get one per cent higher by 2050.

“Negative economic impacts are not just a future prospect. They’re already happening today,” said Ness.

In the last week, Atlantic Canada was hit by post-tropical storm Fiona, causing widespread damage, and Canadians in parts of Ontario and western Quebec are still recovering after a derecho pummelled the region with multiple tornadoes and downbursts bringing winds up to 190 km/h in May.

Beyond higher reconstruction costs, Canada is also facing massive economic disruptions as factories are closed during storms or extreme heat and supply chains are disrupted. Railways and highways might fail faster than expected under the stress of more extreme weather.

Make investments now to save money, report urges

Construction will get an economic boost, but only because it needs to step in to repair and replace damaged structures and transportation corridors, the report says.

If we do nothing more to adapt in anticipation of more severe weather, it says, the economy will take a $25 billion hit in 2025, rising to between $78 billion and $101 billion by 2050.

The fallout would be felt across the board, with lower incomes, job losses, lower business investments and cuts to exports.

But if every effort is made to limit global warming by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the report says, and Canada makes the needed investments to add resilience to public and private infrastructure, things will look better.

The report suggests that for every $1 invested in adaptation, governments and businesses can save $5 to $6 in direct damage costs, and another $6 to $10 in economic benefits, such as avoiding work stoppages or productivity slowdowns.

Adaptation can include seawalls to protect low-lying communities, laying down temperature-resistant asphalt, or upgrading or burying critical power lines.

Ness said it is “much more efficient economically to spend the money upfront on making that infrastructure better and more resilient than it is to fix it when climate change breaks it.”

The institute says the government needs to start incorporating the costs of climate change into all its economic decisions. That includes reporting on the estimated costs of not making planned investments.

It also needs to encourage, and in some cases mandate, the private sector to do the same.

And most importantly, it needs to increase its investments in adaptation to match the risk we’re facing, the institute says.

Ness said the national adaptation strategy expected from the federal government this fall is a good place to start, but he said it will only work if the strategy comes with major new investments and actions.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

Canadian military would be ‘challenged’ to launch a large scale operation: chief of the defence staff

Published

 on

 

OTTAWA –

Canada’s military forces are “ready” to meet their commitments should Russia’s war in Ukraine spread to NATO countries, but it would be a “challenge” to launch a larger scale operation in the long term, with ongoing personnel and equipment shortages, according to Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre.

Eyre told Joyce Napier on CTV’s Question Period in an interview airing Sunday that while the forces in Europe are “ready for the tactical mission they’ve been assigned,” he has larger concerns about strategic readiness. He said there’s a lack of people and equipment, and further concern around the ability to sustain a larger scale mission in the longer term.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

The Canadian Armed Forces are still struggling to retain staff, with nearly 10,000 fewer trained personnel than they’d need to be at full force, and equipment stocks below what they require.

“We’ve got challenges in all of those,” Eyre said, adding the numbers reflect what’s been “let slip over decades, as we’ve focused on the more immediate (needs).”

Eyre said Canada’s military would be “hard pressed” to launch another large-scale operation like it had in Afghanistan, as an example, without having to redistribute its resources around the globe, as threats evolve.

“The military that we have now is going to be increasingly called upon to support Canada and to support Canadian interests, to support our allies overseas, but as well at home,” Eyre said, citing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, climate change impacting the landscape in the Arctic, and an increase in digital and cybersecurity threats.

“It’s always a case of prioritization and balancing our deployments around the globe, not just with what, but when, and with who … and getting that balance right is something that that we’re working on,” he said. “Could we use more? Yeah, absolutely. But we operate with what we have.”

“We prioritize and balance based on what our allies need, and what the demand signals, just to make sure that we achieve the strategic effect the government wants us to achieve,” he also said.

Meanwhile Defence Minister Anita Anand said on CTV’s Question Period last week that Canada should “be able to walk and chew gum at the same time,” and balance its NATO commitments with securing the Arctic and promoting peace in the Indo-Pacific.

Eyre said his number one priority is getting Canada’s armed forces up to full strength, with an attrition rate of 9.3 per cent between both regular and reserve forces, up from 6.9 per cent last year. The Canadian Armed Forces Retention Strategy was released just last month.

“We are facing the same challenge that every other industry out there is facing in terms of a really tight labor market,” Eyre said. “Every other military in the West is facing the same challenge.”

He explained the organization is working on streamlining its recruitment process, among other changes, to meet the increasing need, with the goal to get numbers up “as quickly as possible.”

“Ideally, would have been yesterday,” he said. “We’re looking at where we can accelerate the recruiting, the training, and optimizing our training pipeline.”

Source link

Continue Reading

News

How soccer is evolving in Canada

Published

 on

 

Soccer wasn’t really a thing when I was a kid. I grew up in the 1970s and ‘80s. Sure, we all had soccer balls. And we played a lot of what should be more accurately called, Kick and Run. But I – and all my friends – did not really know the rules, the teams or the players. We might’ve heard of Pelé, but not more than that.

We followed hockey, baseball, football (CFL and NFL) and basketball, in that order. I did occasionally watch soccer on TV, but that was because we didn’t have a lot of channels and the soothing English accents often lulled me to sleep.

Things are much different now. My 13-year-old son is a massive soccer fan. He plays on a team three or four times a week. His schoolmates include a lot of second-generation Canadians, whose parents came from soccer-obsessed nations. He watches Premier League and Championship League matches. He’s watches La Liga and Bundesliga. He watches World Cup qualifiers and could tell me the backstory on most of the players. In fact, he watches classic games on YouTube and plays FIFA22 on his PS4 and as a result, knows more about Pelé than I ever did. But, because of him, I now watch enough football to know a game is a match, a goalie is a keeper and I know which plays end up in corner kicks or throw-ins.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

I once asked him, “How well do you know the Germany national team?” and he said, “Not very well.” He then proceeded to name seven of their 11 starters. It’s a different world.

I still know almost nothing compared to the other soccer dads, but like millions of Canadians, I watched Canada’s qualifying matches and I know we have a great team, with some stellar players who are worth watching. The qualifying matches regularly beat both hockey games and CFL football when it comes to viewership.

But we should care about more than just the matches themselves. The World Cup is one of the biggest and most lucrative sports spectacles on Earth. This will be the first one hosted in the Middle East. And although Qatar may look shiny and new on TV, it’s mired in what many Western nations believe to be medieval and backwards policies on working conditions, LGBTQ2S+ and women’s rights.

Finding people to talk about it in Qatar is NOT easy. One of W5’s goals this week was to talk to migrant workers to describe how they were treated, their living conditions and their labour rights. Most were too afraid to talk to us.

And to confound things, there have been many stories of journalists being detained or arrested for reporting on migrant workers. Last week, a Danish reporter was live on TV from Qatar and when asked what things were like there, he directed his camera operator to pan left – revealing security officials in golf carts, who immediately tried to stop the live hit. The next day Qatari officials apologized, but the message was clear: we can stop you from reporting when we want. It’s a fascinating video that’s been viewed millions of times around the globe.

The Qatari government denies they’ve put any restrictions on media. In a tweet, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy says “several regional and international media outlets are based in Qatar, and thousands of journalists report from Qatar freely without interference each year.”

Not everyone is convinced. Qatar ranks 118 out of 180 countries in the 2022 Press Freedom index, published by Reporters Without Borders. Freedom House, which is a U.S.-based freedom watchdog, gives Qatar a 25 out of 100 score on Global Freedom, which includes freedom of expression. (Canada ranks 98 and the US ranks 83).

A Reuters Institute column from last week on press freedom in Qatar suggests authorities obscure press freedom laws, by hiding behind trespassing laws.

“One of the most common risks when doing journalistic work in Qatar is to be accused of trespassing. This is what Halvor Ekeland and Lokman Ghorbani of Norwegian state broadcaster NRK were accused of when they were arrested by officers of Qatar’s Criminal Investigations Department in November 2021, while covering World Cup preparations. The journalists were held for over 30 hours before being released without charge. They deny they were filming without permission,” says the article.

A little insider info: I have personally written, “we don’t want you to get arrested, but…” at least twice in correspondence with our team in Qatar. I’ve never encouraged anyone to break the law of course, but sometimes doing our jobs leads police or security into thinking they have a duty (or at least a right) to stop you.

Source link

Continue Reading

News

Don’t have a cow: Senator’s legen-dairy speech draws metaphor from bovine caper

Published

 on

OTTAWA — Haven’t you herd? A dramatic tale of 20 escaped cows, nine cowboys and a drone recently unfolded in St-Sévère, Que., and it behooved a Canadian senator to milk it for all it was worth.

Prompting priceless reactions of surprise from her colleagues, Sen. Julie Miville-Dechêne recounted the story of the bovine fugitives in the Senate chamber this week — and attempted to make a moo-ving point about politics.

“Honourable senators, usually, when we do tributes here, it is to recognize the achievements of our fellow citizens,” Miville-Dechêne began in French, having chosen to wear a white blouse with black spots for the occasion.

“However, today, I want to express my amused admiration for a remarkably determined herd of cows.”

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

On a day when senators paid tribute to a late Alberta pastor, the crash of a luxury steamer off the coast of Newfoundland in 1918 and environmental negotiators at the recent climate talks in Egypt, senators seated near Miville-Dechêne seemed udderly taken aback by the lighter fare — but there are no reports that they had beef with what she was saying.

Miville-Dechêne’s storytelling touched on the highlights of the cows’ evasion of authorities after a summer jailbreak — from their wont to jump fences like deer to a local official’s entreaty that she would not go running after cattle in a dress and high heels.

The climax of her narrative came as nine cowboys — eight on horseback, one with a drone — arrived from the western festival in nearby St-Tite, Que., north of Trois-Rivières, and nearly nabbed the vagabonds before they fled through a cornfield.

“They are still on the run, hiding in the woods by day and grazing by night,” said Miville-Dechêne, with a note of pride and perhaps a hint of fromage.

She neglected to mention the reported costs of the twilight vandalism, which locals say has cost at least $20,000.

But Miville-Dechêne did save some of her praise for the humans in the story, congratulating the municipal general manager, Marie-Andrée Cadorette, for her “dogged determination,” and commending the would-be wranglers for stepping up when every government department and police force in Quebec said there was nothing they could do.

“There is a political lesson in there somewhere,” said the former journalist.

Miville-Dechêne ended on what could perhaps be interpreted as a butchered metaphor about non-partisanship: “Finally, I would like to confess my unbridled admiration for these cows that have found freedom and are still out there, frolicking about. While we overcomplicate things, these cows are learning to jump fences.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2022.

 

Marie-Danielle Smith, The Canadian Press

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending