QUEEN’S PARK – MPPs Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth), NDP critic for Energy and the Climate Crisis, and Sandy Shaw (Hamilton West – Ancaster – Dundas), NDP critic for Environment, Conservation and Parks are calling on the Ford Conservatives to start taking climate change seriously, and ensure our infrastructure is prepared for the extreme weather events we face from a rapidly changing climate.
On Monday, Tabuns and Shaw were able to question deputy ministers from the Ministries that were the subject of the Auditor General's report on flooding in Ontario at the Public Accounts Committee.
In short - Ontario is not prepared.
The Ontario Auditor General’s Value-for-Money audit on Climate Change Adaptation found that four Ontario ministries are failing to meet their responsibilities to protect municipalities and property owners from the increased risk of flooding. The report highlights solutions that other ministries and governmental organizations have offered the Ford government to help address urban flooding – but Ford is not listening.
“It is clear that this government is putting the people of Ontario at risk from severe flooding in the future by ignoring the changing climate. They are not even meeting their own climate plan or flood strategy commitments,” said Tabuns. “We know that inaction now will make the costs much higher in the future. We can’t afford the inaction of this government.”
As greenhouse gas emissions cause the climate to rapidly change, Ontario is experiencing a higher frequency of rain events that increase the demands on municipal infrastructure and costs to homeowners.
“The Ford Conservatives have dramatically cut funding to municipalities with Bill 23, but still expect them to pick up the tab for flood prevention,” said Shaw. “With limits placed on the power of conservation authorities to provide information to governments on flood risks, this government is creating a perfect storm. The Ontario NDP are taking climate change seriously. We are promoting solutions in committees, in legislature, and in community rooms across the province, and we will not stop until the Ford government treats this matter with the urgency needed.”