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Facing change and guiding Ontario into the next quarter century
Once thought of as a global problem, municipalities are now faced with having to deal with damage to infrastructure and facilities, rising operating and maintenance costs, power outages, flooding, heat stress and vector-borne diseases in their communities. Policy and planning practitioners were left wondering how such a comprehensive issue could be tackled with limited resources and no official mandate on the issue. With help from the Ontario Climate Consortium, the Town of Richmond Hill undertook a high-level corporate climate change risk scan that enabled the Town to start having the conversations needed to identify risks to municipal services, recognize the need for a coordinated approach and obtain approval to advance Richmond Hill’s climate change mandate. In this session, participants will come away with a better understanding of what impacts from climate change influence local government policy and vice versa, learn how climate change policies can align with other policies or planning priorities and gain knowledge about the methods municipal planners can employ to improve buy-in from other departments, senior management, elected officials and the public about the impacts from climate change and how municipal governments can address these risks.