Project will integrate practical scientific data on an interactive website
WINNIPEG, April, 25, 2019 /CNW/ - Increased frequency of severe weather events, forest fires and smoke linked to climate change are some of the ways that the health of Canadians is being affected by a changing climate. Climate change is also increasingly identified as a key driver of serious zoonotic, food-borne, water-borne and new vector-borne diseases.
Today, Member of Parliament Terry Duguid, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced that Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are providing $600,000 to the Prairie Climate Centre to make climate-related health information available to Canadians. This information will be provided through a new Health Portal in the Climate Atlas of Canada—an engaging website that combines climate science, mapping and storytelling to bring the global issue of climate change closer to home for Canadians. The Climate Atlas delivers detailed but easy-to-understand summaries of climate change projections for over 1,800 locations across the country. It gives all Canadians the opportunity to see for themselves how their communities are expected to be affected, and the importance of investing in clean and renewable energy, energy efficiency, public transport, clean technology, and resilient infrastructure.
Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada continue to research how the effects of climate change may impact the health of Canadians. Making this information available through the Climate Atlas of Canada will help Canadians make informed decisions about their health in a changing climate.
"The effects of climate change go far beyond the weather outside. As climate change increases the health risks to Canadians, the online Climate Atlas of Canada will help give Canadians the information they need to make informed decisions about their health."
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
"It's an honour to be working with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada to expand the Climate Atlas of Canada to engage Canadians on the intersection between climate change and health, and what we can do to address challenges and create meaningful solutions in our communities."
Dr. Ian Mauro
Co-Director, Prairie Climate Centre
- Recent increased temperatures in southern Canada may be having an impact on the rapid expansion of the ticks that carry Lyme disease and other diseases. Studies suggest that temperature is one of the critical factors that determines where and how quickly tick populations can establish.
- Wildfire smoke is different from air pollution caused by industrial emissions. Smoky air makes it harder for your lungs to get oxygen into your blood, and can cause an immune response that creates inflammation throughout the body.
- Of the $600,000 the Government of Canada is providing to the Prairie Climate Centre for the Climate Atlas of Canada, $500,000 is from PHAC's Infectious Disease and Climate Change Fund over four years. This Fund aims to address the impact of climate change on human health in Canada by:
- Increasing capacity to respond to the rising demands posed by climate-driven zoonotic, food-borne, vector-borne and water-borne infectious diseases;
- Ensuring that Canadians and health professionals have access to timely and accurate information to better understand the risks of and measures to prevent infection; an
- Improving adaptability and resiliency to the health impacts of climate-driven infectious diseases through surveillance and monitoring activities, and improved access to education and awareness tools.
- For the remaining $100,000, Health Canada has provided a one-time investment through the Department's Climate Change and Health Adaptation Capacity Building Contribution Program. This program supports projects that focus on protecting and improving human health from the impacts of climate change.
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Thierry Bélair, Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Brandon Logan, Digital Communications Coordinator, University of Winnipeg, 204-988-7129, [email protected]; Media Relations, Health Canada,613-957-2983, [email protected]; Public Inquiries: 613-957-2991,1-866-225-0709