Ministers announced funding of CA$46.7m (£30m) for two climate-resilience schemes: the Climate Resilient Built Environment initiative and the Standards to Support Resilience in Infrastructure Program.
The Climate Resilient Built Environment (CRBE) initiative, funded by Infrastructure Canada and led by the National Research Council of Canada, will provide the knowledge to adapt public infrastructure where necessary, inform changes to building and infrastructure codes, and create guides, standards, tools, and technical solutions for climate resilience. It will have funding of CA$35m over five years. The initiative will involve collaboration across the construction sector, from design and decision-making to construction, operation, maintenance and retrofit.
The Standards to Support Resilience in Infrastructure Program (SSRIP), led by the Standards Council of Canada, will receive new funding of CA$11.7m over five years, to deliver standards and related guidance that address priority areas such as heat, flooding and permafrost degradation in the north. The programne is working with communities and beneficiaries to ensure these standardisation projects promote a consistent approach to climate-change adaptation, enhance resilience and support informed decision-making for infrastructure and buildings across Canada.
Infrastructure Canada said that the initiatives will help improve resilience to climate change by informing future design, retrofits, and upgrades to buildings and infrastructure. The tools and technical knowledge developed will help communities make climate-informed decisions, and will reduce costs related to construction, operation, and repair, it said.
Minister of intergovernmental affairs, infrastructure and communities Dominic LeBlanc said: “Communities across Canada have felt the impacts of climate change over the last number of years. As we continue to take bold action to reduce our emissions and protect nature, we must support key research that guides mitigation and adaptation efforts to ensure that new and existing infrastructure can better withstand extreme weather events.”
Minister of innovation, science and industry François-Philippe Champagne said: “The effects of climate change are real and are felt all across Canada – from the flooded plains of the prairies, to the fire ravaged interior of BC, to the recent devastating storms across Ontario. The initiatives announced today will generate critical knowledge to help us make better climate-informed decisions. Together, we will find solutions that support our communities and help build resilience to fight climate change across Canada.”
National Research Council of Canada president Iain Stewart said: “The National Research Council of Canada is pleased to once again work with collaborators across the sector on the research and development that will be needed to adapt Canada’s critical infrastructure to a changing climate. We look forward to continuing our work with construction experts across Canada to provide the knowledge and tools needed to improve and advance the resiliency of Canada’s infrastructure and communities.”
Standards Council of Canada CEO Chantal Guay said: “Canada is facing increasing risks from forest fires, storms, high winds, and more. Without change, we will continue to see increased threats to life and property. Climate-adapted standards for infrastructure and buildings can help by codifying key principles and best practices to ensure that communities in Canada will be safer and healthier as we move forward.”