Annual National Roundtable on Disaster Risk Reduction: Agenda at a Glance

Building Blocks of Resilience: Local, National and Global Perspectives
Canada's Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
November 5, 2013 – Regina, Saskatchewan

Annual National Roundtable Overview

Platform Vision

A safer and more resilient Canada through the reduction of risks and leveraging of capacities and opportunities across all levels of government, non-governmental organizations, private sector and academic sectors and the general public.

Platform Aim

To provide a gathering place for great ideas where members can connect in a way that facilitates dialogue and enables objective consideration of the current state of DRR activities, as well as new perspectives on trusted roles and partnerships, while spurring exploration of new ideas and collaborative opportunities.

Roundtable Objectives

The main objectives of the 2013 Roundtable are to engage, empower and enable individuals, groups, communities, and organizations in DRR activities. The Roundtable seeks to do this by applying innovative ideas and leveraging technology to engage stakeholders from across Canada; empowering stakeholders by providing access to knowledge and networks of experts; and enabling action through the sharing of tools and resources valuable to and recommended by the DRR community.

A key focus of the 2013 Roundtable will be exploring the fundamental building blocks of resilience. What are the basic principles and concepts that contribute to building, nurturing and maintaining community resilience and advancing DRR?  As previous Roundtables have already touched on these topics, this Roundtable will build off of these previous discussions by seeking to identify existing gaps and recommending strategies, approaches and tools for establishing the underlying conditions for resilience and DRR.

Desired Outcomes

  • DRR knowledge, information and current issues are shared among the DRR community in Canada.
  • The importance of DRR activities in Canada is acknowledged and affirmed.
  • Key DRR messages are developed, strengthened and disseminated.
  • Revitalization of relationships among DRR experts and networks as well as creation of new partnerships.

Virtual Participation

In order to engage the largest reach of interested stakeholders possible, the Platform will attempt to leverage as many real-time interactive tools to enable participation as reasonably possible. Possible collaborative tools include but are not limited to Twitter (hash-tag #CDNDRR), web/teleconference, etc.

Agenda at a Glance


7:30 -  8:30


8:30 -  8:40

Traditional Welcome - Mr. Tim Eashappie, Elder, Carry the Kettle First Nation

8:40 - 8:50

Welcome - Ms. Roxanne James , Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

8:50 - 9:00

Opening remarks by Local Hosts - Mr. Al Hilton, Deputy Minister of Government Relations, Saskatchewan

9:00 - 9:15

A Year in Review - Canada's Platform Advisory Committee

9:15 - 9:20

!gnite Stage - Aboriginal Resilience (Canada’s Platform)

9:20 - 10:50

A Talk-show of different perspectives: Building Blocks of Resilience

  • François Guimont, Public Safety Canada
  • Al Hilton, Ministry of Government Relations, Saskatchewan
  • Nikhil daVictoria Lobo, Swiss Re
  • Ricardo Mena, United Nations, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (Americas)

Moderated by: Ms. Stefani Langenegger, CBC Regina

10:50 - 10:55

!gnite Stage - Private Sector Partnerships Working Group (Canada's Platform)

10:55 - 11:10

Health Break

11:10 - 11:15

!gnite Stage – “My City is Getting Ready” Campaign of the UNISDR (Canada’s Platform)

11:15 – 11:20

!gnite Stage - 100 Resilient Cities Rockefeller commitment to Clinton Global Initiative (Swiss Re)

11:20 - 12:20

Consultation session on the principles of resilience

12:20 - 12:25

!gnite Stage  - Earthquake Preparedness in Canada (Insurance Bureau of Canada)

12:25 - 12:30

Instructions for afternoon sessions

12:30 -13:30


13:30 - 15:00

Parallel sessions

Session 1: Tools

  • Risk Assessment

(Public Safety Canada)

Session 2: Local Issues

  • Building Local Business Resilience through Information and Partnerships

(Private Sector Partnerships Working Group - Canada's Platform)

Session 3: National

  • DRR Capacity Building for First Nations, Inuit and Métis

(Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada)

Session 4: Global

  • How Will We Pay for This? The Risk of Complacency & the Rising Costs of Disasters

(Swiss Re)

15:00 - 15:15

Health Break

15:15 -16:45

Parallel sessions

Session 5: Tools

  • Information and Knowledge Management for DRR

(Public Safety Canada)

Session 6: Local Issues

  • Land Use Planning Guide

(Laurie Pearce – Royal Roads University)

Session 7: National

  • Linking Climate Change Adaptation and DRR

(Natural Resources Canada)

Session 8: Global

  • DRR at the International level: Global Platform and HFA II development

(Public Safety Canada)


Wrap up and concluding remarks

Session Details

Talk Show – The Building Blocks of Resilience (9:20 – 10:50)

The increased impact of the events being experienced by Canadians are not simply the result of a single variable changing, but the confluence of a number of factors, which include, but are not restricted to the following:

  • Climate change;
  • Increased urbanization and changing demographics (i.e. aging population, migration to cities and suburbs);
  • Aging and overstretched infrastructure;
  • Modification of the environments within which we live; and
  • Individuals and communities being unaware about their immediate risk environment and/or unprepared to address the potential fallout, should the risk be realized.

Individually, each of these factors has a minimal impact on the daily lives of most Canadians. However, when there is a confluence of these factors, the proverbial “Perfect Storm”, the resulting costs and disruption to the lives of Canadians can be extreme. Furthermore, it is not only the large-scale events that are costing individuals, business and governments, but the numerous isolated events that occur on a daily basis, which cumulatively can result in greater overall costs than large, extreme events.

The panel discussion will focus on the current state of disaster risk reduction and building resilience, and measures that should be considered moving forward. Panelists will be asked to speak from the perspective of the challenges we are collectively facing, and also of the potential opportunities for Canadians.

Consultation Session - Principles of Resilience (11:20 – 12:20)

Recognizing the complex and cross-cutting nature of whole-of-community resilience, Public Safety Canada has been developing participatory methodology to build a sense of shared ownership. To better focus on addressing resilience within communities, a series of Guiding Principles have been established. The Guiding Principles are:

  • Adapt to understand and meet the actual needs of the whole community:
  • Involve, engage and empower all parts of the community:
  • Build on actions, structure and key leaders already in place in the community:
  • Learn about the complex and integrated nature of risks:
  • Improve awareness of resilience and risk information in the whole community, share broadly (mainstreaming):
  • Foster shared ownership for action to address short and long-term risks: and
  • Establish a holistic governance approach.

To help participants unpack the multiple dimensions of resilience, they will be asked to share case studies that, from their perspective, best reflect the guiding principles. The case studies should walk participants through resilience building scenarios and indicate the choices made among diverse priorities across the multiple dimensions of resilience.


Parallel Sessions (13:30 – 15:00)

Session 1 – Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is the foundation for emergency management planning, preparedness and mitigation as it identifies key areas of priority for risk treatment. There is an extensive list of threats and hazards to Canada and Canadians but insufficient resources and capacity to treat or plan for all of them. Therefore, risk assessments are essential to the allocation and prioritization of resources.

The outcome from this session seeks to impart and stimulate discussion on how results from risk assessments are utilized.

Session 2 - Building Local Business Resilience through Information and Partnerships

The objective of the session is to promote the Private Sector Partnerships Working Group (PSPWG), to increase membership and to demonstrate value of PSPWG activities for new members and discuss potential for new projects.

Through a series of short presentations and facilitated discussion, the session seeks to address the following important issues or questions:

  • Importance of the private Sector in disaster risk reduction;
  • Present projects of Private Sector Partnership working group;
  • New projects to be attempted;
  • Potential Funding sources; and
  • Potential organizations to be contacted.

Session 3 – DRR Capacity Building for First Nations, Inuit and Metis

The purpose of this session is to discuss: a) First Nations', Metis, and Inuit best practices in emergency management capacity building and b) how First Nations, Metis, and Inuit are engaged in building resilience within their communities that will encourage and motivate other communities to pursue and contribute to building their resilient communities.

Session 4 - How Will We Pay for This? The Risk of Complacency & the Rising Costs of Disasters

In 2012, disasters and catastrophes caused USD 186 billion in economic loss globally, a tragedy heightened by the fact that only USD 77 billion of the loss was insured. This gap between economic and insured losses is borne largely by the public sector and creates long-term financial instability at a time that government budgets are stretched. Simultaneously, man-made catastrophes such as environmental accidents, are increasing the vulnerability of our key population and economic centers, and straining the fabric of society.

This session will explore the true exposure of taxpayers to natural disasters and some of the initiatives governments are leading around the world to soften the impact and build financial resilience.


Parallel Sessions (15:15 – 16:45)

Session 5 - Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) for DRR

A critical element towards empowering communities is ensuring that IKM initiatives not only focus on the generation and provision of disaster information, but also activities for promotion of the information use, validation of approaches and methodologies, and development of consensus of standards. Too often, valuable information and/or knowledge is overlooked (or unrecognized), resulting in lost opportunities for individuals and communities.

The IKM Session will focus on addressing ways to facilitate IKM in support of national, regional and community based activities.

Session 6 – Land Use Planning Guide

Every year Canadians lose homes to floods, landslides, urban wildland interface fires, train derailments and other hazards. Why do communities still allow people to build in dangerous places? Is anywhere safe?  Few places are actually too risky to build on; most of the time building can be permitted but we have to learn to build safe and build smart.

This session will focus on identifying what resources and information are critical to ensuring a land-use proposal receives effective evaluation, and on assessing the hazard risk posed by the proposed land use?

Session 7 - Linking Climate Change and DRR

The objective of the session is to explore the synergies between climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction for enhancing resilience from global to local scales. The need for enhanced collaboration between these communities, and national mechanisms through which collaboration can occur, will provide a foundation for discussing lessons learned for recent climate-related disasters and future directions in both policy and practice.

Session 8 – DRR at the International level: Global Platform and Hyogo Framework for Action successor (HFA II) development

Initial discussions on HFA II have identified some priority issues that should be considered in the context of future DRR activities. The focus of the breakout session is to discuss ways that we can begin addressing critical DRR issues through the lens of not only ensuring increased resilience of our communities in Canada, but seeking opportunities to understand and promote Canadian expertise and best practices, in support of DRR activities globally.