Canada must strengthen critical infrastructure for future extreme weather: Blair

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair says the risk of future storms has to be taken into account as British Columbia rebuilds following massive rainstorms and deadly mudslides.

Blair says it's still too early to estimate how much it will cost to fix all the damage caused by the atmospheric river that hit B.C. earlier this month.

The storm dropped nearly 300 mm of rain on some communities in southern B.C. in less than two days, washing out major highways and rail lines, and triggering mudslides that killed at least four people.

Blair says as the work to rebuild gets underway, Canada needs to acknowledge how quickly critical infrastructure was damaged by the storm and build back better than before.

Today's throne speech speaks of the need to prepare Canada better to withstand the floods, fires and other extreme weather which is becoming more common as the warming planet changes climate patterns.

Both the Conservatives and NDP plan to request an emergency debate on the B.C. flooding and climate change resiliency this week, and the Liberals say they will support the requests.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2021.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

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