Resilient communities are the backbone of disaster preparedness.
Disasters happen locally, but they can become national emergencies very quickly.
That’s why it’s crucial that all our dots are always connected, from front-line responders, to community leaders, volunteers and non-governmental organizations, to provincial, territorial and federal authorities.
The frequency and magnitude of weather-related emergencies, natural disasters, and human-induced hazards are increasing……All posing a greater threat, not only to the safety of our communities, but also to our economic stability.
But we’re making progress on better disaster preparedness.
Good work is underway with provinces, territories, Indigenous communities and municipalities to develop a modern comprehensive emergency management plan.
This Disaster Risk Reduction Roundtable, by bringing together so many partners to share expertise on these critical issues, is a key part of Canada’s commitment to the United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and in the development of our National Emergency Management Plan.
Today’s Roundtable event helps advance our collective efforts to build resilient communities, better understand disaster risks, and strengthen partnerships among all sectors of society, including Indigenous Peoples and Canada’s youth.
We look forward to building on our momentum from these discussions, as Canada gets ready to host the United Nations Fifth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas on March 7-9, 2017, also here in Montreal.
At that forum, Canada will welcome some 1,000 delegates, reflecting the concerns of countries and territories throughout North, South and Central America and the Caribbean.
I’m very pleased to report that here in Canada, we’ve restored funding to Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Teams across the country.
For our excellent first responder community, we are making good progress – with many partners – on a new compensation benefit for the families of those who lose their lives in the line of duty… and on a coherent, evidence-based, national plan on PTSD (or Operational Stress Injuries) which disproportionately afflict emergency workers.
And today, I’m very pleased to announce the launch of Flood Ready.
Flood Ready is an innovative new public awareness campaign about flood mitigation, funded through the National Disaster Mitigation Program.
One of the goals of this campaign is to increase Canadians’ basic knowledge of flood risks.
It will also aim to foster a change in attitudes and behaviours, which can help Canadians take action before disaster strikes – especially in high-risk areas.
I encourage everyone to visit the Flood Ready website, at (canada.ca/flood-ready) to find out more, and help us spread the word.
I’m confident that, taken together, all of these positive new developments will help prevent and mitigate disaster risks for all Canadians, from coast to coast to coast.