Majority of Canadians want government accountability, action on climate adaptation – IBC

IBC says officials need to see the bigger picture when it comes to climate change

Majority of Canadians want government accountability, action on climate adaptation – IBC

Catastrophe & Flood

By Lyle Adriano

Many Canadians support climate adaptation and want to see governments take more action to protect the country from worsening natural disasters, a new poll commissioned by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has found.

IBC commissioner Pollara Strategic Insights to survey 5,200 individuals from all across Canada, both homeowners and renters that are at least partially responsible for their home insurance policy. A good 85% of respondents indicated that protecting Canadians from natural disasters they are already experiencing should be a priority for governments.

When asked if Canada’s federal and provincial governments are doing a good job in managing and responding to natural disasters, 54% of respondents said they approve of the work done. However, just 40% believe governments are doing enough to adapt to climate change.

Adaptation appears to be a primary concern among Canadians, the poll noted. Some 76% of respondents believe that setting immediate targets for adapting to climate change within the next five years should be a priority for the government – 52% of that number additionally indicating that it should be a major or top priority.

Canadians generally also want governments to provide additional investments for resilience. About 83% of respondents support governments investing in improving community infrastructure against flooding, while 68% support governments providing financial assistance to homeowners for relocation if they live in high-risk flood zones.

"A majority of Canadians desire government action and accountability on climate adaptation. Setting targets will ensure our communities are better prepared for more severe natural disasters, such as the devastating floods in British Columbia exactly a year ago," said IBC climate change and federal issues vice president Craig Stewart.

Stewart also called for Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy to set near-term targets to reduce the risk of flooding and other climate-related disasters, and to outline the funded actions needed to attain those adaptation goals.

The report comes shortly after IBC shared the results of another poll it had commissioned, which found that 88% of BC residents want further action to protect their communities from flooding. That report was published to coincide with the first anniversary of the 2021 flooding that impacted southwest BC.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!