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Climate resilience notably absent from federal housing plan

Apr 15, 2024 | NATIONAL
Climate resilience notably absent from federal housing plan News Article Image

On Friday, the Government of Canada released Solving the Housing Crisis: Canada’s Housing Plan. Following the plan’s release, Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Climate Change & Federal Issues, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), issued the following statement:

“The release of Canada’s Housing Plan by the federal government could have delivered a plan that accounted for the increased climate risk our communities face, including the frequency and severity of extreme weather events impacting households across the country. The federal government’s new housing strategy appears to lack the necessary focus to ensure that the new homes the country needs are resilient to climate change. We are awaiting further details to appear in Budget 2024 and remain committed to working with the federal government to prioritize climate change resilience measures.

While we commend the federal government for delivering a plan to build 3.87 million new homes by 2031, these new homes must be built in the right way and in the right places. The federal government must lead by urgently updating the National Building Code to incorporate resilience and deploy necessary programming restrictions to discourage continued building and rebuilding of homes in high risk flood and wildfire zones.

Friday’s announcement lacks substantive details and appears to be a missed opportunity to deliver on the government’s own target of ensuring resilience to climate change impacts is factored into all new federal infrastructure funding programs by 2024, as set out in the National Adaptation Strategy (NAS).

A housing strategy is the right place to incorporate these climate resilience measures as recommended by the Task Force for Housing and Climate and Climate Proof Canada.

Insured damage related to extreme weather events in Canada has a clear upward trend with losses exceeding $3 billion annually in both 2022 and 2023. By comparison, between 1983 and 2009, Canadian insurers averaged $400 million a year in losses related to severe weather. Just this week, the government warned that 2024 will likely be another record-setting wildfire season, and highlighted the need to invest in measures to adapt to our changing climate.

The choices we make now will determine how prepared Canada will be to cope with the risks we face in the next few years and beyond.”

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Established in 1964, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up the vast majority of Canada’s highly competitive property and casualty (P&C) insurance market.

As the leading advocate for Canada’s private P&C insurers, IBC collaborates with governments, regulators and stakeholders to support a competitive environment for the P&C insurance industry to continue to help protect Canadians from the risks of today and tomorrow.

IBC believes that Canadians value and deserve a responsive and resilient private P&C insurance industry that provides insurance solutions to both individuals and businesses.

For media releases, IN Focus articles, or to book an interview with an IBC representative, visit Follow us on LinkedIn, X and Instagram, and like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC. We’re here to help.