Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

March 22, 2007 09:45 ET

Natural Resources Canada: Canada's New Government Invests in Project to Better Adapt Infrastructure to Changes in Climate

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 22, 2007) - Canada's New Government has partnered with engineers who are studying roads, buildings and water systems in every part of the country to determine how climate change is affecting our infrastructure. Funding of $998,400 to support this project was announced last night by Jacques Gourde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, on the Minister's behalf.

"Our Government recognizes that this is a very important initiative," said Mr. Gourde, speaking at a dinner held by the Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC), a professional engineering group. "Understanding the impact of climate change on our country's infrastructure will help all levels of government adapt to ensure the safety of our communities."

The First National Engineering Vulnerability Assessment Report is being conducted by PIEVC, an initiative of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE), which is the national organization of associations that regulate engineers in Canada. PIEVC brings together more than 50 engineers, 25 scientists and other specialists. It is also working with all levels of government as well as associations with a role in infrastructure.

"Climate change is already a reality in Canada, particularly in our northern regions. PIEVC will identify and prioritize the most vulnerable types of infrastructure and their condition, leading to adjustments to infrastructure design codes, standards and practices," said Marie Lemay, P.Eng., ing., the CEO of CCPE. "This will enable engineers to use strategies in their designs so that public infrastructure can adapt to the anticipated impacts of climate change, enhancing the safety and security of Canadians."

Canadian engineers have relied upon historical climatic data to design long-lasting, safe and reliable infrastructure. They must adjust their designs and operations to a changing climate, which could improve energy efficiency and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Improved design codes can incorporate more recent energy-efficiency standards.

The vulnerability assessment report will focus on four types of infrastructure: water supply systems; buildings; roads and associated structures; and storm and wastewater systems. It will also identify practices that can help make structures more resilient to climate change. The report is expected to be finished by March 2008.

Funding for the project comes from the Government of Canada's Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Program. This program provides funding for research and activities to improve our knowledge of Canada's vulnerability to climate change, to better assess the risks and benefits posed by climate change and to build the foundation upon which appropriate decisions on adaptation can be made.

This initiative advances the commitment by Canada's New Government to ensuring the safety and security of people and resources - delivering real change and real results for Canadians.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Engineers are studying roads, buildings and water systems in every part of the country to assess how vulnerable they are to climate change. Yesterday, Jacques Gourde, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Natural Resources Gary Lunn, announced Government of Canada funding of almost $1 million for this project.

General public may contact:

Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30 EDT

Telephone: 613-995-0947

TTY: 613-996-4397

(teletype for the hearing-impaired)

E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media

CCPE's news releases and backgrounders are available at
www.ccpe.ca

Contact Information

  • Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Ghyslain Charron
    Media Relations
    613-992-4447
    or
    Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, Ottawa
    Marc Bourgeois
    Director of Communications
    613-232-2474 ext.238
    613-868-0267
    or
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Kathleen Olson, Acting Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister
    613-996-2007