Epic storms on two coasts have parliament talking climate action, adaptation

(The Energy Mix, 25 Nov 2021) With Canada’s East Coast grappling with the effects of an “unprecedented” storm and British Columbia on alert for another 10 days of heavy weather, the House of Commons held an emergency debate Wednesday night that focused largely on the country’s poor state of readiness for climate impacts.

“If the last year has shown us anything, it’s the impacts of climate change are here sooner than expected and they’re devastating,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the House, promising to throw “the full power of government and the entire force of our commitment behind real, meaningful climate action.” That promise will include increased funding to municipalities through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, the Toronto Star reports.

“This is not about bad weather. This is about whether human civilization can survive,” said Saanich-Gulf Islands MP and former Green Party leader Elizabeth May, adding that her husband’s farm was sheltering climate refugees for the second time this year.

“No issue could be more riveting,” May said. “The stakes could not be higher.”

After the Environment Canada weather office in Gander, Newfoundland predicted an “unprecedented” severe rainstorm, with the Port aux Basques region due to see 150 to 200 millimetres of rain Tuesday and higher terrain receiving 300 millimetres, CBC reported towns cut off Wednesday with the Trans-Canada Highway washed out in four places. Local residents and officials were watching waterways and storm sewers for possible overflows and reporting problems with damaged and washed-out roads. Ferry service between Port aux Basques and North Sydney, Nova Scotia was cancelled Wednesday, leaving some travellers stranded.

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The Energy Mix, 25 Nov 2021: Epic storms on two coasts have parliament talking climate action, adaptation