Ontario has leadership gap in flood-risk preparedness, study says
By Colleen Cross
Waterloo – Researchers behind a new report into the preparedness of Ontario communities to handle severe flooding are calling for Public Safety Canada to increase funding and provide enforceable standards for flood risk management in Canada.
The study, released earlier this month, asked small- to medium-sized Ontario communities about being prepared for future floods. Prepared by Partners for Action of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, the report found that flooding remains a major source of socio-economic vulnerability, and a drain on municipal resources.
“Communities are at the front line of flood and climate adaptation, and are the first to react and drive the policy changes we need,” said Shawna Peddle, Director of Partners for Action at Waterloo, in a news release. “However, some feel they are left to their own devices to make informed decisions about the risk of flood for their residents.”
The study identified a perceived leadership gap on climate adaptation at the federal and provincial level, and recommends that governments work together to provide the tools to help our communities understand their flood risk, and opportunities to reduce that risk.
“We can have the best information and tools to help our communities prepare and recover from flood, but what they really need is explicit direction and regulatory guidance from government, so adaptation becomes part of business planning,” Peddle said.
Find the full report, At the Front Lines of Flood: How Prepared Are Ontario Communities?