Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Environmental Watchdog Finds Gaps in Ontario's Climate Change Strategy: Watchdog Finds Gaps in Climate Change Plan

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Environmental Watchdog Finds Gaps in Ontario's Climate Change Strategy: Watchdog Finds Gaps in Climate Change Plan

Article excerpt

TORONTO - Ontario needs to prepare for climate change, and is ill-prepared for another severe ice storm like the one in 1998 that crippled hydro towers, Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller warned Wednesday.

There are gaps and weaknesses in the province's climate change strategy that is supposed to limit the damage from fiercer and more frequent ice storms, heavy rains and heat waves, said Miller.

"We have an infrastructure built for a climate we no longer have," Miller told reporters.

"So how much of that infrastructure has to be rebuilt and replaced is really the question."

Echoing a report issued Sunday warning that climate change is a real threat to outdoor hockey rinks, Miller noted non-refrigerated outdoor rinks are becoming less and less common in Ontario.

"We define ourselves on the hockey rink, on the back of our five-dollar bill is kids playing shinny on an outdoor rink," he said.

"I'm not sure you can do that even up in North Bay where I live any more."

Environment Minister Jim Bradley agreed with Miller's findings, and said Ontario is preparing its infrastructure for a very different future.

"When you're building new bridges and other structures you take into account the fact that we could see significant climate change," he said.

"What engineers call the 100-year storm now will show up every 20 years, so in our planning processes we have to ensure that we take this into account."

The Ministry of Energy isn't mentioned in the province's climate change plan, said Miller, even though scientists predict an increase in devastating ice storms and other extreme weather events.

However, Energy Minister Chris Bentley said one of the reasons electricity prices are rising is Hydro One is building a more robust system of towers and transmission lines that will be better able to withstand stronger storms.

"There are opportunities that new technologies present us," said Bentley.

"Through the smart grid for example, we can identify outages and reroute the power long before you even send people out to repair it. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.