Financial cost of major weather events rising for Canadian taxpayers

A new report is putting a massive price tag on the cost of climate change in Canada -- with the tally reaching hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

See Full Article

The costs related to cleaning up devastating floods, the carnage from hurricanes and the damage left in the wake of intense winter storms has exploded to nearly $900 million annually, up from an average of $850 million in previous years, said Parliamentary Budget Officer Jean-Denis Frechette.

And it's taxpayers who have to foot the bill for the costs, which are only expected to increase as our weather continues to deteriorate due to climate change.

"Not only the number but the intensity of the weather events," will increase, Frechette told CTV News.

The report found most of the spending went towards flood relief in the Prairies, where the PBO also found most flood maps are out of date.

"If you have economic development or housing projects for example in the flood plains area, of course you're going to have huge losses associated with the floods," Frechette said.

Public payouts are high, Frechette said, because private flood insurance is rare. It is currently only available in Ontario and Alberta, and even there just recently. So when disaster strikes in the form of flooding, it is often the government that steps in to bail out residents.

And even where flood insurance is available, it's most expensive where it is needed most. In high risk areas, flood insurance coverage up to $1 million averages about $18,000 per year and typically comes with a $100,000 deductible -- and that doesn't include coverage of contents.

"Flood operates differently than other home hazards such as fire because for certain places we know, where the flooding is going to happen and it's going to happen there year after year," said Craig Stewart of the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

The report highlights a point many are making -- that as the federal government prepares to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure to help stimulate the Canadian economy, it should focus on erecting buildings that can withstand the extreme weather that is expected to increase in frequency due to climate change.

"Disaster relief is a Band-Aid not a cure, and we need to do this sort of proactive spending," said Simon Donner, associate professor of geography at the University of British Columbia.

The Liberal government had committed to doing just that as part of their green infrastructure election pledge. However, a spokesperson for the minister said not to expect details on such projects until next month's federal budget.

With a report from CTV's Omar Sachedina



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Niagara police say woman was bound and left to die in burning home; offer reward

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. CATHARINES, Ont. -- Niagara regional police are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the 2010 death of a 74-year-old who was tied up and left to die in her burning home. Source
  • Scammers told man case containing lottery winnings could explode, police say

    Canada News CTV News
    PETERBOROUGH, Ont. -- Provincial police say they had to close their Peterborough, Ont., detachment for several hours after a man brought in a briefcase he thought contained an explosive device. OPP say the man arrived at the detachment late Wednesday morning, saying he'd received a call about winning a lottery in the United States. Source
  • Members of two Hells Angels support gangs arrested in northern Alberta

    Canada News CTV News
    FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. -- Charges have been laid against two members of separate outlaw motorcycle gangs that police say are among about two dozen support clubs for the Hells Angels in Alberta. The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team says two Fort McMurray men were arrested in the city last Wednesday following a drug trafficking investigation. Source
  • Compromise proposed in dispute over police presence in Vancouver Pride Parade

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Pride Society has responded to demands that police be banned from marching in the city's annual Pride Parade with the suggestion that officers show up in fewer numbers and leave their uniforms at home. Source
  • Fritz Koenig, sculptor whose art withstood 9/11 attack, dies

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- Fritz Koenig, a German sculptor whose work "The Sphere" became a symbol of resilience after the 9/11 attacks in New York, has died. He was 92. Koenig, who was already a well-known artist thanks to his distinctive large statues and sculptures, created the ball-shaped bronze over a four-year period starting in 1967. Source
  • Police investigating after 7-year-old hands out pills on Quebec school bus

    Canada News CBC News
    Quebec provincial police are investigating after a seven-year-old boy handed out pills on a school bus this week, telling other children the pills were candy. Police said the child attends La Passerelle elementary school in Saint-Paul, on the outskirts of Joliette in the Lanaudière region northeast of Montreal. Source
  • Will we be able to cope with possible deluge of migrants fleeing U.S. for Canada?

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA - As desperate asylum seekers continue to flee the Trump administration's immigration crackdown by crossing into Canada, concern is growing here over whether the country will be able to cope if the number of migrants keeps growing. Source
  • Jail for man who bit off part of fellow mourner's nose at drunken wake

    Canada News CTV News
    PICTOU, N.S. -- A Nova Scotia man convicted of biting off part of a fellow mourner's nose in a drunken brawl at a wake has been sentenced to six months in jail. Randall Edwin MacLean was convicted of aggravated assault last October. Source
  • 'A feral cat is better off dead'; Hunter blasted over his war on felines

    World News Toronto Sun
    Sam Wood has been a proponent of hunting and killing invasive species, such as wild hogs, that can threaten the native ecosystems for years. His Facebook page is filled with photos showing the 48-year-old outdoorsman taking down sparrows and starlings, pigeons and rats. Source
  • Innocent grandma sucker-punched by deli thief dies of injuries

    World News Toronto Sun
    An elderly woman who was sucker punched by a career criminal while standing outside a New York deli has died, four months after the attack. Eve Gentillon, 69, succumbed to her injuries Friday in Queens Hospital. Her cause of death was a result of “traumatic brain injury caused by blunt force trauma,” according to the New York Post. Source