We Must Do More

Posted: October 17, 2016
This past week, I attended the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of
Mutual Insurance Companies (“CAMIC”). CAMIC is a national organization of memberowned
insurance companies whose mission is to empower all members through its
national advocacy efforts.
The annual meeting is a forum whereby all member companies gather to be
informed and educated on the issues and matters of national importance. At this year’s
meeting, the most important matter on the agenda was climate change. Global climate
change is a matter of growing importance to every Canadian citizen. The perils we have
faced in the past now present much greater risk to our cities, forests and way of life.
Canada is among the 191 signatories to the Paris climate agreement. Yesterday,
it cleared a final hurdle for ratification. The agreement required 55 countries that make
up 55 per cent of global emissions in order to take effect, and formal ratification by the
EU pushed it past that threshold. Parliament ratified the agreement yesterday, thus
committing the country to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent from 2005
levels by 2030. This target will require industry, public policymakers and all Canadians
to do their part in fulfilling this aggressive target. It is a tall order to work towards!
One should no longer doubt the scientific evidence behind global climate change.
Politics aside, you don’t have to look very far to see the catastrophic weather events
that are occurring more frequently in Canada - the Alberta floods of 2013, the Toronto
floods of 2013 and, the catastrophic wildfires in Fort MacMurray earlier in 2016. Natural
disasters like these are no longer once in a hundred year events. These events not only
occur much more frequently but are also much more severe. The evidence is
compelling and scientists have done their job. It is now up to all Canadians to act!
You may ask what can we do to combat climate change. There is much we can
do at all levels of government, across all industries and in our own backyard. Local
governments must modernize building codes and be more environmentally responsible
with the land use planning. For example, to allow residential development to occur in
mapped flood zones or watersheds must be discontinued. More investment in efficient
and alternative public transit by municipal and provincial governments will move people
quickly between urban centres. Society has been built around the internal combustion
engine and we are now left attending to and funding the problems that fossil fuel
burning creates.
Secondly, industry must go beyond the adoption of sustainability as a corporate
value. Businesses must strategize and execute business plans that respect the
environment of the markets they conduct business in.
Finally, Canadians across the nation must commit to changing their behaviours to
combat climate change. Recycling, reducing the use of your automobile and being
energy efficient are some of the ways you can help.
The time to do more is now! Get informed about climate change and build your
community into a greener one. We know our climate is warmer, wetter and wilder than
ever before so we are really left with no choice but to change!
OCTOBER 6, 2016

Please accept my apology for not notifying you of insurance cancellation on Dads house. I erroneously thought that once his house transferred to my name his insurance canceled automatically. I feel bad about this as you were one of the most helpful during the difficult times in settling his affairs. The banks and government should follow your example of professionalism.

Jim Poth, Prospect