Aug 13, 2018
By Michael Kramer
Delegates at an international irrigation and drainage conference have been told that flood and fire losses are costing Canadian taxpayers $1 billion a year.
That’s straight from Ralph Goodale, Canada’s minister for public safety and emergency preparedness – who also told the 500 delegates in Saskatoon that climate change has resulted in storms that dump a year’s worth of precipitation in a matter of days – followed by severe drought.
The minister says the proof is in the amount of money Ottawa has spent to clean up flood and fire damage under the disaster relief program – which comes to more in the last five or six years – than was spent in the entire previous history of the program stretching back to 1970.
Goodale said the challenge for government is having the political will to do something about it over the medium and long terms – but he says government budget-makers are under huge pressure to fund projects that bring quick political gratification – rather than building on longer-term objectives.