Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, has announced that Canada will host the Fifth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas in 2017. This meeting will bring together some 1,000 delegates from over 50 member states in the Americas to discuss opportunities for collaboration and coordination in meeting shared objectives to reduce disaster risks in the region and to meet the United Nations’ Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) commitments.
Health Canada has released numerous reports on topics related to Climate Change and Health, including a Heat Alert Guidebook. For a compendium, check this web site.
(Ongoing Updates) Environment Canada has prepared numerous reports on the Arctic Ecosystem in relation to Climate Change and Conservation Strategies.
Our understanding of climate change impacts and adaptation in Canada has increased, both as a result of new research and through practical experience. Led by Natural Resources Canada, the development of this report involved over 90 authors and 115 expert reviewers, and synthesized over 1500 recent publications.
ICE could be the Inescapable Canadian Element, one that demands cooperation for survival. ICE could also be an Implacable Climatic Experience, which presents formidable challenges to governments, industry and individuals – as demonstrated by the 1998 ice storm that essentially shut down major parts of Eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.
Seldom do Canadians, as a nation, look much beyond next week, next month or next year. We tend to be laid-back and blasé about our future. We engage in a game of self-deception by assuming that the threat of any major harm is restricted solely to a major environmental event, such as blizzards, hurricanes or flooding, created by climate change.
In our Spring 2006 issue, Dr. David Butler-Jones, then recently appointed Public Health Officer of Canada, expressed to FrontLine Security, the goals and aspirations of his newly minted agency. Since then, many public health issues have come to the fore, such as the ongoing H1N1 swine flu and the recent Listeriosis outbreak, to name but two.
There are people in Ontario who can’t sleep when it rains heavily at night because they have experienced a flooded basement too often. Homeowners in British Columbia are reminded of the fear and reality of losing their home and possessions each time they see televised images of uncontrolled wildfires in the U.S. and Australia. Many in the elderly and infirm population are nervous that summer heat waves may strain the electrical power system, threatening another disruptive blackout.
A severe tornado ripped through the city centre of Atlanta, Georgia in March 2008.
(April 2009) A Chatham House Briefing Paper by Cleo Paskal on environment-related disruptions to hydroelectric installations, offshore oil and gas production, pipelines, electrical transmission and nuclear power generation.
(Jan 2009) Grim descriptions of the long‐term consequences of climate change have given the impression that the climate impacts from greenhouse gases threaten long‐ term economic growth. However, the impact of climate change on the global economy is likely to be quite small over the next 50 years. Severe impacts even by the end of the century are unlikely. The greatest threat that climate change poses to long‐term economic growth is from potentially excessive near‐term mitigation efforts.
(Nov 2009) To predict the path and landfall of a hurricane or other coastal storm and assess the damage, emergency managers and scientists need continuous information on the storm?s path, strength, predicted landfall, and expected damage over large areas. Satellite and airborne remote sensors can provide the required information in a timely and reliable way. The lessons learned from hurricane Katrina are helping optimize future approaches for tracking hurricanes and predicting their impact on coastal ecosystems and developed areas.
Our common border with the United States stretches across 8,893 kilometers (5,526 miles) of land and three oceans. According to Government of Canada statistics, the annual two-way trade in goods and services between Canada and the U.S. in 2007 was worth over C$576 billion. Clearly, border security is a vital component of our economic security.
Climate change, resource depletion, health, security, economics, and politics are inextricably intertwined.
Air pollution in the Valley of Mexico. (Photo: C. Mcnaughton. U. of Hawaii)
Our Spring issue on Terrorism and Critical Infrastructure Protection generated much interest and comment. As we embark on the key trial of Momin Khawaja, the first Canadian-born to be charged under the new terrorist legislation, the issues brought up in our last edition by Howie Marsh and Tom Quiggin will surely resonate in the minds of our readers.
The Arctic is changing. Combined factors of climate change, resource development and changing geo-political concerns create an Arctic that is becoming more accessible – and thus coveted – by the outside world. The increased tempo of southern penetration of the north will provide opportunities for Canadians, but, at the same time, create difficult challenges to solve. The uncertainty of how this will manifest itself is perhaps the greatest difficulty now facing Government officials.
Although it is difficult to actually pinpoint when emergency management emerged as a recognizable and distinct profession, it can safely be said that the idea or concept of practitioners schooled in risk management started to evolve in the 1990’s. By the early 2000’s, emergency management was both the buzzword and the business!
THE ALBERTA EXPERIENCE FOLLOWING THE AUGUST 2005 DERAILMENT AT LAKE WABAMUN
Regions and municipalities deal with crises on a somewhat regular basis and therfore tend to maintain their readiness levels, however, major disasters that call for special resources do not happen very often. The tendency then, especially as events fade into the past, is to let our preparedness guards down. This is perhaps more true at the federal and provincial/state levels that are further removed from first response demands.