Good Morning Scott;
Thank you for writing to us regarding the flooding of Lake Manitoba.
We all know that climate change is real. The jury is in. Especially so in Canada.
We’re already seeing its effects – from drought to coastal erosion, from ice storms to forest fires. In Alberta, in just the last five years, we’ve seen destruction on an almost unprecedented scale. The 2013 floods were one of the costliest natural disasters in Canadian history. Economic losses topped $5 billion, with nearly $2 billion paid out by insurers. These challenges demand a coordinated response and a Liberal government will provide that response.
Liberals are committed to working with provinces, territories and municipalities to develop a comprehensive action plan that allows us to better prepare for – and respond to – weather-related emergencies. Whether the end result is reinforcement to key infrastructure like dams and transmission lines, or the relocation of crucial access roads away from flood plains or other at-risk areas, every day that we ignore this issue is another lost opportunity. In other words, if we do not make responding to climate change a priority, we are putting our citizens, our environment and our economy at risk.
A Liberal government will provide dedicated funding to invest in a broad range of projects, including but not limited to local water and waste water facilities and climate resilient infrastructure. We will also support efforts to prepare for changing weather patterns, such as: improved storm water systems to diminish the impact of urban floods, additional dams and dikes to prevent overland or coastal flooding, and the reinforcement of energy systems in the face of possible ice storms. These and other efforts will be undertaken in partnership with other orders of government and based on the best available science. We will boost investment in green infrastructure by nearly$6 billion over the next four years, and almost $20 billion over ten years.
We will incorporate climate impact analysis into federal government contracting. We will use new financing instruments to stimulate investments in retrofits and distributed energy systems, and make significant improvements to the energy efficiency of Canada’s industrial, commercial, and residential buildings. Green infrastructure projects eligible for investment will include systems to protect against changing weather such as dams, dikes, reinforcement of energy grids, etc., to protect against wildfires, storm water, floods, etc.
Liberals will also deepen our commitment to work with other governments to protect Canada’s freshwater through education, geo-mapping, watershed protection, and infrastructure investments in the best waste water treatment technologies. We will work with the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba – as well as our American partners – to prevent the spread of invasive species, undertake science-based initiatives to better understand and manage water levels, and clean-up of coastal contamination.
We will restore $1.5 million in federal funding for freshwater research, which was cut by the Conservatives, and make new investments in Canada’s world-leading IISD Experimental Lakes Area. A Liberal government will rapidly develop a road map to meet Canada’s international commitment to protect 17 percent of our land and inland waters by 2020. The protection of our freshwater resources will be an imperative.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your concerns. I look forward to further engagement with local stakeholders on this crucial issue.