Intact donation launches University of Waterloo centre to make Canadian communities more resilient to climate change

TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2015 /CNW/ - Intact Financial Corporation (TSX : IFC) and the University of Waterloo announced the creation of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (ICCA) today. The centre will focus on research and building awareness for innovative adaptation solutions to climate change risks facing Canadian homeowners, communities, industries and governments.

The ICCA, based in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, will be an incubator for new adaptation measures to climate change. Under the leadership of Professor Blair Feltmate, university researchers, consultants, industry specialists and NGOs will:

  • monitor applied research developments on adaptation solutions and technologies from around the world;
  • conduct their own research; and
  • mobilize adaptation technologies and practices that are most promising to reducing climate-related extreme weather risk.

"Addressing the effects of climate change and extreme weather is a pressing challenge for everyone. This unique national partnership applies Waterloo's research excellence in a way that serves communities across the country," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo. "Together, we share the vision to understand and tackle the effects of climate change in communities across Canada."

With funding of $4.25 million provided by Intact, the ICCA's initiatives include implementation of a green infrastructure program aimed at reducing the impact of severe precipitation in Canadian communities. Another program will identify the extreme weather vulnerabilities of various Canadian industrial sectors and recommend appropriate industry-specific adaptation strategies.

"While political leaders from across the world gather for COP21, we should remind ourselves that climate change is already a reality here in Canada. We must step up our efforts towards building strong, prosperous, resilient and sustainable communities," said Charles Brindamour, Chief Executive Officer of Intact Financial Corporation. "Our partnership with Waterloo's Faculty of Environment will foster innovative solutions that will reduce the physical, financial and social impacts of extreme weather."

The ICCA will also launch its national Home Adaptation Audit Program (HAAP) to assess the vulnerability of homes to flood damage, and make specific recommendations to help homeowners across the country avoid costly damage from extreme weather.

The ICCA represents the next step in a five-year partnership between Intact and the University of Waterloo in tackling the impacts of extreme weather. Previously, the organizations partnered on The Climate Change Adaptation Project which identified the most vulnerable areas of Canadian society to climate change, provided a national roadmap for adaptation and identified numerous solutions to protect Canadians against the growing threat of severe weather events. For more information about the ICCA please visit www.intactcentreclimateadaptation.com.

About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. A globally focused institution, celebrated as Canada's most innovative university for 24 consecutive years, Waterloo is home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit uwaterloo.ca.

About Intact Financial Corporation
Intact Financial Corporation (www.intactfc.com) is the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada with over $7.3 billion in annual premiums. With over 11,000 employees, the company insures more than five million individuals and businesses through its insurance subsidiaries and is the largest private sector provider of P&C insurance in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Québec and Nova Scotia. The company distributes insurance under the Intact Insurance brand through a wide network of brokers, including its wholly owned subsidiary, BrokerLink, and directly to consumers through belairdirect.

Attention broadcasters: Waterloo has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds with a double-ender studio. Please contact us to book.

SOURCE University of Waterloo

Image with caption: "University of Waterloo (CNW Group/University of Waterloo)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151130_C6318_PHOTO_EN_554360.jpg

Image with caption: "Intact Financial Corporation (CNW Group/University of Waterloo)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151130_C6318_PHOTO_EN_554365.jpg

For further information: Media Contacts: Pamela Smyth, University of Waterloo, 519-888-4777, psmyth@uwaterloo.ca, www.uwaterloo.ca/news, @uWaterlooNews; Stephanie Sorensen, Director, External Communications, Intact Financial Corporation, 416 344-8027, stephanie.sorensen@intact.net

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