Latest News

New Bill Tabled to Address Flood and Drought Forecasting

Francis Scarpaleggia, Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Lous, Quebec, and Chair of the House of Commons Environment and Sustainable Development Committee, has tabled a private member’s Bill C-317 that “provides for the development of a national strategy to provide key stakeholders with the information they need to forecast floods and droughts.” CPWA will be engaging with MP Scarpaleggia on this bill.

The bill directs the government to work with municipalities (among others) on the strategy. It also notes that “the strategy must provide for:

a) an assessment of the need for, and the benefits of, national coordination, new investment and the application of novel technologies in forecasting floods and droughts;

b) an assessment of the need for modelling that would identify properties and infrastructure at risk from floods;

c) the establishment of a national cooperative flood and drought forecasting system and of the institutional structures required for its successful implementation as well as a determination of how that system could best support the provinces, municipalities, industry and Indigenous communities based on their information needs in respect of flood and drought forecasting, including flood-plain delineation; and

d) the preparation of a proposal for the establishment of a national hydrological forecasting service, either independent or as part of an independent Canadian water agency, that incorporates the National Hydrological Service and other water-data and water-forecasting capabilities of the federal government.”


Upcoming Debates

Private Members’ Business

Committee Updates

Government Response to Committee Report on Cyber Defence

The government has issued an official response to the House National Defence committee’s report on “Cyber Defence in Canada.” The letter contains items related to the protection of critical infrastructure, including in municipalities.

The committee’s report had included a recommendation “that the Government of Canada continue its ongoing dialogue with critical infrastructure owners/operators such as municipalities, Provincial, Territorial, Indigenous governments, and private sector operators such as utility companies; and, that this ongoing work be formalized to have consistent and ongoing dialogue to discuss potential threats as well as best practices.” In response, the government has noted that “this dialogue occurs in multiple formats, including standing bodies of public and private stakeholders such as the National Cross Sector Forum and Sector Networks, direct meetings with public and private stakeholders, online targeted consultations and email submissions.”

The Government also sees Bill C-26 on cyber security in federally-regulated sectors, which is currently being debated in Parliament, to “serve as a model for provinces, territories, and municipalities to help secure critical infrastructure outside federal jurisdiction. In sectors that use the same standards across jurisdictions, there is an opportunity for the CCSPA to help build cyber security capacity and expertise to support more resilient systems across sectors, across the country.”

Government Response to Committee Report on “National Housing Strategy”

Following the recommendations presented by the House Human Resource Committee’s Report on the “National Housing Strategy,” the government issued a response last week and agreed with the recommendation that no one government entity has the expertise or has access to all the levels that are necessary to address the challenges facing Canada’s housing system. Therefore, the response highlighted the importance of partnerships across all levels of governments, including municipalities, with clear delineations of responsibilities and regular evaluation.

In order the strengthen the alignment between the governments, the response highlighted the collaboration between Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation and Infrastructure Canada. Further, the government also launched the new Deputy Minister and Assistant Deputy Ministers Committees on housing and homelessness to support the development of a government-wide strategy for further collaboration for improved housing and homelessness outcomes.

House Infrastructure Committee Studying Bill C-33

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities is in the midst of a study on Bill C-33, An Act to amend the Customs Act, the Railway Safety Act, the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992, the Marine Transportation Security Act, the Canada Transportation Act and the Canada Marine Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act. Early witnesses include executives from port authorities. Some witnesses have commended the Bill as a good start in terms of its efforts to decarbonize the ports through climate mitigation and adaptation plans. However, it comes with a caveat that port authorities must individually develop GHG targets.

The committee is also undertaking the drafting of their report on “Adapting Infrastructure to Face Climate Change,” which CPWA participated in. The title of the report will be “Building a More Climate Resilient Canada.”

Departmental Updates

Final Phase of Wastewater Infrastructure Upgrades in British Columbia

The Hon. Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister Anne Kang, and Mayor Tim McGonigle of the town of Lake Cowichan announced a joint investment of more than $10.1 million to support the expansion of the wastewater treatment facility, enhancements in lagoon aeration, and the implementation of phosphorus removal and disinfection processes. This project will enhance the wastewater system, safeguarding the Cowichan River.

Durham Region Active Transportation Funding

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament for Whitby, and John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer, the Regional Municipality of Durham, announced an investment of $360,000 for two key active transportation planning projects in the municipality of Durham, Ontario. This funding contributes to Canada’s National Active Transportation Strategy by supporting planning activities that will help expand networks of pathways, bike lanes, trails, and pedestrian bridges. The funding is shared between the federal government and the city.

Federal-Provincial Joint Investment in Penticton Community Recreation Centre Upgrades

The Hon. Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, the Hon. George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and His Worship Julius Bloomfield, Mayor of the City of Penticton, announced a joint investment of more than $1.9 million to support upgrades to the local recreation centre in British Columbia. The funding announced for the existing Penticton Community Recreation Centre will upgrade HVAC equipment and heat recovery and will improve the swimming pool’s heat retention. The project will reduce natural gas and water use, lower the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 60%, and improve occupant comfort.

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