QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement after Ottawa, Huntsville and Bracebridge all declared a state of emergency in response to rising flood waters:
“Thank you to all the emergency service personnel, including the Canadian Armed Services, who are working around the clock to keep people safe from rising flood waters in areas surrounding Bracebridge, Huntsville and Ottawa, and around the country in Quebec and New Brunswick.
While spring flooding is not unusual, we cannot ignore the reality that our climate is destabilizing and causing once-in-a-lifetime storms and floods to happen more often and with more severity.
No government can call itself fiscally responsible if it is pulling the plug on disaster preparedness while the climate crisis accelerates.
That’s why I am calling on the Premier to reverse his cuts to Conservation Authorities.
Full funding for flood preparation should be restored so that we can plan for extreme flooding, which adaptation experts say is the number one climate risk for Canada.
Climate change is here and we need a mature and urgent discussion about how to cope. Annual liabilities from Canada’s Disaster Financial Assistance programs have risen from $100 million a few decades ago to $2 billion today. The latest study has pegged the economic costs of a melting Arctic alone at $70 trillion.
Instead of pushing stickers and selfies at the pumps, Premier Ford must demonstrate that he understands the severity of the climate emergency.”