VANCOUVER – An insurance industry official says extreme weather events including flooding in Calgary and Toronto nearly kept the federal government from meeting its budget targets last year.
Barbara Turley-McIntyre of the Co-operators insurance agency says such events will only become more common as the effects of climate change become everyday reality.
She told a Vancouver forum on livable cities that the Alberta floods alone cost the Canadian economy $4.8 billion in economic losses.
Turley-McIntyre says the clean-up bill came to $1.9 billion — the single most costly event in Canadian history — and that 90 per cent of that was on the federal tab.
Earlier this week, a UN scientific panel warned that the effects of global warming are already noticeable and could spiral out of control without action.
Insurance industry officials say the price tag for natural disasters has prompted greater awareness and collaboration among industry and governments in Canada to get ready for the effects of extreme weather.