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Dec 2018 | Green & Resilient Communities

Tyler Sutton, Editor-in-Chief


When it comes to climate change strategy, there are typically two streams of action: climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. Mitigation refers to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from various sectors that contribute to climate change and adaptation refers to activities to increase resilience against the effects of climate change. Governments at all levels in Canada are introducing climate change plans and strategies in rapid succession – perhaps in response to the Federal Government’s implementation of its carbon pricing regime or perhaps as a result of the barrage of significant weather events that continue to affect our communities. Whatever the impetus, Canada now has an unprecedented number of climate change frameworks and strategies in place, covering both mitigation and adaption.

The final issue of the Public Sector Digest for 2018 is devoted to making sense of Canada’s integrated (and at times disintegrated) efforts to curb emissions and adapt to climate change. From Saskatchewan’s Prairie Resilience Strategy to the mapping of our communities’ flood plains, we’ve endeavoured to include in this issue a sample of climate action from across the country and across all sectors.

At the local level, these efforts could be summed up with the mission statement of making our communities green and resilient. From the City of Regina, a group of councillors attended a climate change conference and returned to Saskatchewan’s capital committed to implementing a climate change strategy. While the councillors picked up some tips and best practices at the event, their most significant take-away was a sense of empowerment that climate change mitigation and adaptation can be addressed to a large degree at the local level. “What struck the delegates from Saskatchewan’s capital city was how much the heavy lifting was being done by municipalities” said Andrew Stevens, a first-time city councillor from the City of Regina.

At the provincial level, the Government of Saskatchewan released its overarching climate change strategy, Prairie Resilience, in December 2017, followed by its Climate Resilience Measurement Framework in November 2018. The Framework includes 25 measures in five key areas, used to help measure resilience to climate change. This approach includes both mitigation and adaptation, with the Saskatchewan Government making the case that they can achieve their strategic goals without implementing carbon pricing. All eyes will be on several courts across Canada as provincial governments fight the Federal Government’s carbon pricing scheme. The Green & Resilient Communities issue would not be complete without also addressing innovative approaches to protecting green assets and strengthening the resiliency of built assets in our communities. “When it comes to building resiliency to climate change, municipalities must focus on not only their grey infrastructure, but also their natural assets” said Kelsey Nicholls, Community Engagement Coordinator with ReForest London.

Looking ahead to 2019, we’re thrilled to announce that the editorial content of the Public Sector Digest will be focused in three key practice areas: infrastructure asset management, finance and budgeting, and climate change adaptation. Our readers can also look forward to a refreshed digital format for the publication this January, highlighting case studies and emerging frameworks to assist our member organizations with insight-driven decision-making. From developing an asset risk matrix to implementing an emergency reserve fund strategy for your organization, the Public Sector Digest will remain our members’ go-to resource for new ideas and proven strategies in asset management, budgeting, and climate change resiliency. Stay tuned for these exciting updates, and until then, happy holidays from the Public Sector Digest team.

Tyler Sutton, Editor-in-Chief
Public Sector Digest