Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Mississauga—Erin Mills.
Now more than ever, communities need support to adapt to the extreme weather events associated with climate change. The science is clear and troubling. A recent scientific study published by Environment and Climate Change Canada noted that our country's climate is warming twice as fast as the global average. This alarming development poses serious threats to the well-being of all Canadians.
Flooding, forest fires and storms are becoming more frequent and more intense. Across the country, we are seeing the devastating consequences of climate-related disasters for Canadians. Over the past few weeks, communities in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick have been hard hit by historic floods.
We have seen communities in British Columbia devastated by wildfires. We are no longer just talking about preventing climate change; we need to adapt to this stark reality urgently.
These disasters respect no borders. They threaten the health and safety of all Canadians. They traumatize families and damage entire communities when they lose their essential services and see their economies disrupted.
It costs a lot of money and takes time to repair damaged infrastructure. That is why our government is taking measures under the investing in Canada plan by earmarking $180 billion for public infrastructure renewal across the country.
First, we are investing in resilient infrastructure that helps communities withstand damage from extreme weather events. The goal is to limit the costs of repairing damaged infrastructure and help communities recover faster. Through the $2-billion disaster adaptation and mitigation fund, our government is supporting large-scale infrastructure projects that improve the resilience of communities in responding to natural disasters.
That funding is also used for wetland restoration, fire breaks, dikes and booms that can help communities affected by climate disasters recover more quickly.
To date, 26 projects have been announced under the fund. These projects include upgrades to 60 kilometres of dikes and flood water control structures along the western shores of Nova Scotia's Bay of Fundy. The investment will reduce flooding risk and the damage it can cause for tens of thousands of residents.
Another project is a stormwater management system in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. This investment will protect the drinking water supply of the 20,000 residents living in two Dene communities.
Another project provides upgrades to the dikes and pumping stations in the coastal city of Richmond, B.C., to help protect its residents against the impacts of severe storms and rising sea levels.
Another is a new shoreline protection project in Hamilton, Ontario, to improve resilience and reduce the flooding risks along the shores of Lake Ontario.
Yet another is the construction of dry ponds in Edmonton. This investment will reduce stormwater overflows on city streets during rainfall, which means the number of Edmonton residents who go without essential services during floods will be reduced.
Our government has also introduced a new assessment, called the “climate lens”. This assessment applies to select funding programs under the investing in Canada plan.
It encourages recipients to design infrastructure that will reduce carbon pollution and withstand extreme weather events related to climate change.
The climate lens is consistent with the objectives of the pan-Canadian framework for clean growth and climate change.
This framework seeks to meet our emissions reduction targets, transition to a low-carbon economy and build resilience to a changing climate.
Our government, in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, supports cities and towns across the country as they develop the skills, capacity and solutions to respond to climate change. For example, the $75-million municipalities for climate innovation program provides training and resources to help Canadian municipalities adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce greenhouse emissions.
In addition, the green municipal fund supports initiatives that advance innovative solutions to environmental challenges. These projects improve air, water and land quality; reduce greenhouse emissions; and generate economic and social benefits for local communities.
Under the investing in Canada plan, our government also invested $27 billion in green infrastructure, which is contributing to making communities healthier and more resilient to climate change.
For example, investments in natural infrastructure, such as healthy watersheds, reduce the risk of flooding during heavy rains. The residents of Cornwall, Prince Edward Island, are benefiting from a cleaner, healthier community following federally funded upgrades to its wastewater system. These improvements mean that raw sewage is no longer discharged into local waterways. In addition, the construction of a new backup power supply for the lift station means wastewater will continue to be treated even during power outages.
To date, nearly 2,900 projects have been approved to support more natural infrastructure and improved water treatment systems in communities across the country. It is because of these investments that more than 80 long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted on public systems on first nations reserves.
That is how investing in green infrastructure improves the quality of life of Canadians and leads to healthier infrastructure that is more resilient to climate change.
While extreme weather events associated with climate change are on the rise, we have seen how Canadians come together in a crisis. Their courage, tenacity, and generosity have helped entire communities to carry on.
When it counts the most, Canadians pitch in and help each other in any way we can, with food, water, sandbags, shelter, and anything else our neighbours need to stay safe and rebuild their lives. However, we can no longer stand by and wait to react only when disaster is upon us. We need to do more to strengthen our communities against the rising threat of climate-related disasters. Our government is responding by investing in public infrastructure that protects Canadians before disaster strikes.
All Canadians deserve resilient infrastructure to help them adapt to the frequent and growing effects of climate change. That is why I find it troubling that the amendment proposed by the official opposition eliminates any mention of the climate emergency we are all facing. What is more, it makes no mention of the Paris Agreement, which leads me to believe that, just as it was when Mr. Harper was prime minister, their so-called plan is to withdraw Canada from the Paris Agreement.
If there is one thing our country cannot afford, it is another government that denies the urgency for action.