Severe Storm Shows Toronto Not Ready for Climate Change

For Immediate Release
July 10, 2013 

Toronto: The record-breaking storm from Monday showed our city is not ready to handle climate change, says a local environmental group.

“Monday’s storm was bad,” said Dr. Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA). “But climate change will bring worse storms and much higher temperatures. As Monday showed, our water, electricity, and transportation infrastructures are not ready.” 

“Today, we are calling on City Council to invest in rebuilding Toronto for climate change,” says Hartmann. “We need a team of dedicated staff to coordinate city-wide efforts to redesign and build water, electrical and transportation infrastructure that can handle severe storms and high temperatures. We need new revenues for this work and we need our political leaders to say this is a priority for the city.” 

Unfortunately, Hartmann noted, there has been little leadership out of City Hall on this. “Let’s be honest. This administration has not made dealing with climate change a priority. That’s why we need City Council to take the lead and make sure we rebuild the city to get ready for climate change.” 

Hartmann noted that in 2008 city staff began mapping out what the city needs to do in a report called “Ahead of the Storm, Preparing Toronto for Climate Change.” Unfortunately, staff cutbacks and general budget reductions have slowed down what Toronto is doing to get ready for climate change. 

Hartmann noted that while investing in climate change adaptation costs money, it’s still much cheaper than dealing with severe flooding, property damage, damaged infrastructure, and power outages. “Every dollar we invest today will likely save us many, many dollars in the future,” said Hartmann. “If city leaders don’t learn from Monday’s storm and start investing in rebuilding the city, Torontonians will be paying much, much more in the future.” 


For more information, contact: Franz Hartmann: 416-606-8881.