Insurance Bureau of Canada Responds to 2021 Federal Budget

April 19, 2021 (OTTAWA) – In her first federal budget, delivered today, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland proposed significant investments to protect Canadians from the severe weather already escalating as a result of climate change.

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) commends Minister Freeland and the Government of Canada for ensuring climate adaptation measures are appropriately resourced as the government continues to implement its promised National Action Plan on Flooding. The budget items related to this action plan are:

  • $1.4 billion over 12 years to extend the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund with almost half dedicated to smaller-scale projects
  • $63.8 million over three years to Natural Resources Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Public Safety Canada to work with provinces and territories to complete flood maps for higher-risk areas
  • $4.4 billion to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for interest-free loans up to a maximum of $40,000 to help homeowners complete deep home retrofits for energy efficiency and climate resilience
  • $200 million over three years, starting in 2021–22, to Infrastructure Canada to establish a Natural Infrastructure Fund to support natural and hybrid infrastructure projects. This would help to improve well-being, mitigate the impacts of climate change and prevent costly natural disasters.

In addition, Finance Canada has allocated funding for further climate adaptation measures, including:

  • $28.7 million to improve wildfire risk mapping in northern Canada
  • $1.9 billion to support provincial and territorial emergency management through Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements
  • $11.7 million over five years so that the Standards Council of Canada can continue updating standards and guidance in priority areas such as flood mapping and building in the North. This would help communities to plan and build roads, buildings and other infrastructure that is more durable and resilient to a changing climate.
  • $22.6 million over four years, starting in 2021–22, to Infrastructure Canada to conduct Canada’s first ever National Infrastructure Assessment. The assessment would help identify needs and priorities for Canada’s built environment.
  • $36.2 million over five years, starting in 2021–22, to Environment and Climate Change Canada to develop and apply a climate lens that ensures climate adaptation and mitigation considerations are integrated throughout federal government decision-making.

The budget also commits to implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures by committing all Crown corporations to disclose transition, liability and physical risk by 2024.

“The federal budget proposes to invest in a wide range of climate adaptation measures that will keep Canadians safe from the escalating floods, wildfires, wind and hailstorms that are already happening as a result of climate change. In particular, we applaud the signature investments that will increase resilience to flooding, which is our greatest climate-related threat,” said Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Federal Affairs, IBC.

Losses related to natural catastrophic events (events resulting in insured losses of $25 million or more) have averaged $2 billion annually between 2009 and 2020, compared with an average of $422 million per year in the 1983 to 2008 period, according to IBC data. That’s more than a four-fold increase in severe weather events, which are increasingly attributed to climate change.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

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