Ms. Linda Lapointe (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I listened very carefully to the speech by my colleague from Kingston and the Islands.
It was very interesting.
I would like to talk about Canada's “Changing Climate Report”.
Science is the foundation of the Government of Canada’s action on climate change, and our scientists provide the information we need to make strategic decisions.
Canada's “Changing Climate Report”, which was drafted by world-renowned scientists from Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Natural Resources Canada and by Canadian university experts, is one of the scientific contributions that provide the evidence we need to make sound policy decisions and to protect our environment, our communities and our economy.
The report was released in 2014 and is the first comprehensive, autonomous assessment of why and how Canada's climate is evolving and of how it is projected to change in the future. Some of Canada's best scientists conducted this peer-reviewed assessment, which was based on already published research. The report represents the work carried out by the international climatologist community. It will help inform decisions regarding adaptation and will help the public gain a better understanding of Canada's evolution.
We rely on scientists to give us the evidence. During the 10 years under the Harper government, scientists were muzzled.
We, on the other hand, prefer to rely on evidence and scientific consensus when making decisions. The science is clear: Canada's climate is warming more rapidly than the global average.
This will continue, and global carbon dioxide emissions from human activity will largely determine how much more warming Canada and the world will experience in the future.
Reducing human emissions of carbon dioxide will reduce how much additional future warming occurs. However, no matter how much warming occurs, this warming is here to stay. It is effectively irreversible on timescales of centuries to millennia.
“Canada’s Changing Climate Report” is a comprehensive scientific assessment that will inform the development of sound policies designed to protect the environment, our communities and the economy.
The people of Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, located along the Mille-Îles River in the Montreal area, believe in having sound evidence. Unfortunately, we have had 100-year floods in 2017 and in 2019. There can be no doubt that climate change is real, and my constituents take their environment to heart.
The report will also help raise public awareness and understanding of the changing climate and enable strong adaptation to reduce our vulnerability and strengthen our resilience to climate change. It tells us strong mitigation action is required to limit warming.
In the development of the report, key stakeholders were engaged to ensure this information is presented to serve a broad range of public and private sector adaptation decision-makers.
This key reference document is relevant across many sectors and informs Canadian planning and investment decisions that will last decades.
When the time comes for the provinces and territories to prepare development plans, they need data to show where the flood plains are, whether climate change will affect those areas and what is going to happen.
The assessment confirms that Canada's climate has warmed mainly in response to emissions of carbon dioxide from human activity. The effects of widespread warming are already evident in many parts of Canada and are projected to intensify in the next five years. The report covers changes across Canada in temperature and precipitation, including extremes, snow, ice and permafrost, freshwater availability and changes in oceans surrounding Canada.
The report provides a riveting account of climate change in Canada. Canada’s climate has warmed and will warm further in the future as a result of human influence, and this phenomenon is irreversible. In Canada, the rate of past and future warming is, on average, about double the global average. The climate in Canada is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. The annual mean temperature in Canada increased by 1.7ºC over the past 70 years. The temperature in winter increased by 3.3ºC over the same period. The increase in annual mean temperature is even more marked in the Canadian Arctic, where it rose by 2.3ºC. To sum up, Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world and the Arctic is warming three times as fast. It is quite worrisome. We must do something about this.
Canada's oceans have warmed and the acidification process has begun. They are now less oxygenated, which is consistent with the trend observed around the world over the past century.
The effects of widespread warming are evident in many parts of Canada and are projected to intensify in the future. These effects such as thawing permafrost, shorter snow and ice cover seasons, longer growing seasons, more extreme heat and earlier spring peak stream flow will continue because some further warming is unavoidable. Precipitation is projected to increase for most of Canada, although summer rainfall may decrease in some areas. Changing temperatures and precipitation, and also changes in snow and ice, have important implications for freshwater supply. The seasonal availability of freshwater is changing with an increased risk of water supply shortages in summer.
A warmer climate will intensify weather extremes in the future. Extreme hot temperatures will become more frequent and more intense. This will increase the severity of heat waves. That is why a report written by scientists is so important to both private enterprise and the public sector. It will help us make the right decisions in order to take climate action.
Since I am out of time, I will continue to explain why this report is so important after question period.
Subtopic: Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic: Opposition Motion—The Environment