Today, the Government of Canada officially released its first-ever National Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan. Following the plan’s release, Celyeste Power, President and CEO, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), issued this statement:
“This is a significant step toward improving Canada’s climate defence. IBC and its members applaud the Government of Canada on the official release of its first National Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan. We commend Ministers Steven Guilbeault, Bill Blair and Jonathan Wilkinson and their teams on this important accomplishment.
We urge the federal government to make the necessary investments to implement this strategy. The 2023 wildfire season serves as yet another stark reminder of the increasing financial vulnerability many Canadians face due to natural catastrophes and the urgency with which we must move forward in the implementation of the National Adaptation Strategy.
Insured damage related to severe weather in Canada now routinely exceeds $2 billion annually. At $3.1 billion, 2022 was the third-worst year on record. By comparison, between 2001 and 2010, Canadian insurers averaged $675 million a year in losses related to severe weather. The time to act is now.
IBC is continuing to closely collaborate with the federal government, provinces and territories to establish the country's first national flood insurance program within the next 24 months.
Announced in the 2023 federal budget through a $98.2 million investment, this new program is expected to help speed up recovery and rebuilding for displaced families and businesses in flooded communities and reduce unplanned disaster costs facing the federal and provincial governments. The finalized National Adaptation Strategy builds upon this work by strengthening Canada’s commitment to close the flood protection gap for those at highest risk.”