WINNIPEG – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett was one of the feature speakers opening the Natural Infrastructure Forum with a speech about his Private Member’s Bill on ALUS.

Co-sponsored by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, ALUS Canada and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the forum’s purpose was to “discuss how Canada can use natural infrastructure to build more resilient cities, towns and landscapes in the face of increasing climate uncertainty.” 

Barrett’s bill promotes the expansion of ALUS, which is one natural infrastructure mitigation tool that can help lessen the impact of extreme weather events.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada was one of more than 20 entities and individuals that wrote letters of support for Barrett’s Bill 28. IBC recently released a report Combatting Canada’s Rising Flood Costs: Natural Infrastructure is an underutilized option. The letter states: “The report makes the case that retaining and/or restoring natural infrastructure is a cost-effective means to mitigate flooding. Bill 28 aligns with the aforementioned report.”

“We know the impacts our changing climate is having on the insurance industry,” Barrett told the forum attendees. 

“Increasing floods are resulting in larger and larger payouts. Certainly, standing here in Winnipeg, but, the number of cities seeing damage is growing – Calgary, Fredericton, Toronto – no part of the country is immune.” 

Barrett pointed to the IBC assertion in the report that natural infrastructure can help slow flooding. “In particular – wetlands, stream buffers – upstream of major population centres can pay huge dividends in stopping flooding downstream,” he said.