Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

Environment

Who should bear the financial risk of flooding? Report lays out three options

Published

OTTAWA — Federal, provincial and municipal governments can do a better job of protecting homeowners from the escalating financial risks of flooding, says a new report released Tuesday by the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

The report, the product of work by a national working group co-chaired by the bureau and the federal Public Safety Department, says the worsening threat means the country has to change how it covers the resulting cost of such disasters.

“Taxpayers cannot continue bailing out people who live on floodplains,” said Craig Stewart, a vice president at IBC and co-chair of the working group.

“We need an alternative, and this report presents three viable options drawing upon international experience.”

About one-fifth of homes in Canada are at risk of overland flooding, while insurance payouts have surged to about $1 billion per year over the past six years, the report estimates. Federal government transfer payments for all forms of flood damage, meanwhile, have quadrupled over the last four decades, reaching about $3.7 billion during the first four years of this decade, compared with just $300 million during the 1970s.

The three options laid out in the report include a pure market approach where risk is borne by homeowners; one in which government is more involved, and finally the creation of a high-risk pool of funds to help manage the financial risk.

All three options are viable, the report says, though its analysis suggests the high-risk scheme fares better than others at meeting certain core principles like affordability, efficiency and financial sustainability. But the report stops short of making a firm recommendation on any of the options.

The advantage of the high-risk scheme is that it allows insurers to pass on some risks to a larger pool of available money. Homeowners would pay premiums for flood insurance, which insurers would then feed into the pool. If a homeowner makes a claim, the insurance company would pay out to the customer and then claim their own reimbursement from the pool.

Homeowners might not even know they’re in the high-risk pool, Stewart said, but it allows insurance companies to avoid some of the risk involved with insuring people whose homes may be flooded.

The cost of the premiums feeding into the pool should be based on the risk of flooding, Stewart said, and if subsidies are capped, the pool will need a source of money to make up the loss.

As for the source of money to get the pool off the ground and keep it sustainable, “It could be anything,” he said, including property taxes or insurance premium levies.

Ideally, Steward said, the scheme would help lower the risk enough so the high-risk pool wouldn’t be necessary. A similar model was implemented in 2016 in the United Kingdom, and has a projected lifespan of 25 years.

“For that to happen,” Stewart cautioned, “you need to have significant government investment in mitigation over those 25 years.”

While the federal government has promised $2 billion for disaster preparedness, the report notes “ongoing funding” is needed.

Stewart said the IBC is currently working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to figure out how much money it will cost to make Canada resilient to flooding, as well as other natural disasters.

More money from government is one of several key factors that the report says are needed to address flood risk in addition to an insurance system.

Another is making sure individuals have an incentive to take action on their own, Stewart said. That means increasing public awareness of risks so homeowners will make their properties more resilient and react to the price of insurance premiums.

Meanwhile, improving the quality of data, like mapping flood risk zones, is “the single greatest thing the federal government can do in the near term,” Stewart said.

Moving people away from high-risk flood zones should be a part of the government’s response as well, he added. Paying people to relocate might be the best way to do that, the report suggests.

Christian Paas-Lang, The Canadian Press



#visionCanada2119

How an Alberta energy company voluntarily restores caribou habitat in northern Alberta

Published

on

Helicopters dropping tree planters into forest corridors.  This is not an image that typically comes to mind when we speak about energy production in Canada.   Truth is, voluntary initiatives like the Caribou Habitat Restoration Project by Cenovus are very much part of everyday life for Alberta energy companies.

Let’s support our families, our neighbours, and our communities by taking a minute to learn about this particular effort.  If you’re already well aware of the environmental focus of Alberta energy companies, you can help by sharing information like this with people you know and encouraging them to do the same.  Just by taking the time to learn something new and sharing this information you are helping to make a difference at home in Alberta, across the country, and around the world!   Thank you for supporting your community, your province, and your country!

Todayville is sharing this video as part of our #visionCanada2119 initiative.

From Cenovus Energy

Caribou Habitat Restoration Project

Our 10-year Caribou Habitat Restoration Project, announced in 2016, is a voluntary environmental initiative that represents the largest single area of boreal caribou habitat restoration undertaken by a company anywhere in the world.

We use proven reforestation techniques to restore old seismic lines, access roads and other linear disturbances. During 2017, we treated approximately 270 kilometres of these linear features in an area comprising about 276 square kilometres. Our restoration program is helping to reduce fragmentation in the Cold Lake caribou herd’s habitat, where our Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands projects are located.

Since 2013, we’ve cumulatively treated more than 700 kilometres of these linear disturbances and planted more than 850,000 trees. As part of our 10-year project, we plan to take that total to 3,500 kilometres treated within an area of 3,900 square kilometres – about five times the area of the city of Calgary. We plan to have planted approximately 4 million trees by 2026.

Our project uses techniques such as mounding the ground, planting trees on these mounds, adding woody debris and leaning tree stems into the pathways to help cover historical corridors cut into the forest for seismic work, access roads and other activities. By closing these long open stretches, our work aims to make it harder for wolves to hunt caribou. Woodland caribou are listed as threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.

We continue to measure and monitor the results of our restoration work and share what we learn with others through Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. For example, we’re a member of the Regional Industry Caribou Collaboration, where producers work collaboratively across individual company tenures and lease boundaries to coordinate habitat restoration in the Cold Lake and East Side Athabasca River caribou herds and conduct research on caribou ecology and how wildlife respond to habitat treatments. We also work on a coordinated caribou approach with our peers at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

Continue Reading

Alberta

Premier Kenney turns into TV host. Interviews Capital Power about groundbreaking new technology

Published

on

We’re not sure where he finds the time, but when it comes to promoting Alberta there seems to be no stopping Premier Kenney.  Normally the Premier is on the answering end of these Q & A sessions.  Today the province released this video featuring Premier Kenney in the role of host / reporter, asking questions of Brian Vaasjo, President and CEO of Capital Power.

No doubt many Albertans would prefer that the Premier leave interviewing to the professionals, but this interview proves to be quite informative due to Vaasjo’s excellent description of what could turn out to be an incredible achievement for Alberta business.

From Facebook page of Jason Kenney

A key generator of electricity in Alberta, Capital Power has just announced a series of big investments today.

This will provide more affordable, sustainable power for Albertans, and lead in development of innovative carbon nanotube technology that could have major applications in industries across Alberta!

Continue Reading

december, 2019

thu12dec5:30 pm7:30 pmH.E.A.R.T.S (Helping Empty Arms Recover through Sharing)H.E.A.R.T.S (Helping Empty Arms Recover through Sharing)5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

thu19dec5:30 pm7:00 amMonthly Mindfulness Drop-In5:30 pm - 7:00 am

tue31decwed01janNew Year's Eve Dueling PianosNew Year\'s Eve at Boulevard7:00 pm - (january 1) 2:00 am

Trending

X