Climate Change in Muskoka: A Workshop on Extreme Weather and Emergency Management
In partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) Parry Sound District Office, OCCIAR was pleased to present this special one-day workshop. Climate Change in Muskoka: A Workshop on Extreme Weather and Emergency Management focused on the unique issues that face the Muskoka region. The event was specifically geared towards municipal representatives from the Muskoka River Watershed, including senior municipal planners, community emergency management coordinators, fire chiefs, and others. The workshop took participants through the science of climate change, the importance of considering climate change in emergency management, risks to municipal infrastructure, legal liability, as well as various presentations on risk mitigation and adaptation planning in other municipalities and First Nations communities. The day featured two break-out sessions where participants discussed climate change impacts, barriers, needs, actions and solutions with fellow municipal representatives from other communities in the Muskoka area.
The overall goal of the workshop was to increase knowledge of climate change science, impacts and adaptations and to provide participants with the necessary information and tools to help increase municipal resilience to extreme weather events. Specifically, the workshop was designed to increase knowledge on:
- The science of climate change, and what future climate models are projecting for temperature and precipitation changes in the area;
- The impacts that climate change will bring to the Muskoka region, including the increasing frequency of extreme rain events (resulting in high water levels/floods), drought (resulting in low water levels), wind, etc.;
- The effect that these climate change impacts will have on municipal infrastructure, and the importance of conducting risk assessments;
- The available tools and resources for incorporating climate change knowledge into emergency response plans and the suite of mitigation tools/methods available for reducing the effect that climate change impacts will have on infrastructure.
- The role of land use planning and planning controls (e.g. bylaws) in mitigating emergencies due to extreme weather; and
- The role of wetlands and other natural landscape features in building community resilience.
Keynote Presentation on Climate Change - David Pearson, Professor of Science Communication, Laurentian University
Emergency Management in Ontario - Aileen Cassells, Deputy Chief, Emergency Management Operations, Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management
Self-Reliance - Don MacIver, Mayor, Township of Amaranth; County Councilor, Dufferin County
Extreme Weather and Risks to Infrastructure - Heather Auld, Principal Climate Scientist, Risk Sciences International
Climate Change Liability - Travis J. Allan, Partner, DeMarco Allan LLP
The Value of Natural Green Infrastructure - Kevin Rich, Provincial Policy Specialist, Ducks Unlimited Canada
Land-use and Climate Change - Paul Cobb, Project Manager, Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources
Evidence-informed partnership-based climate change planning in Peel Region - Mark Pajot, Principal Planner, Climate Change, Integrated Planning Division, Region of Peel
Climate Change Adaptation Planning within the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation - Kerry-Ann Charles, Environmental Coordinator, Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation