The WeatherWise Partnership: Toronto region's action group for extreme weather resilience
Formed in 2011, the WeatherWise Partnership is a group of more than 50 public, private and not-for-profit organizations from across the Toronto region that have begun working together to better protect the region's residents, organizations, infrastructure, and environment from extreme weather.
Convened by the City of Toronto and CivicAction, the WeatherWise Partnership will identify risks and prioritize areas for action and investment by businesses, communities, organizations and governments as the region faces more extreme rain, snow, wind and temperatures. Over the next year, the group will develop a strategic action plan that will be shared widely at a regional forum in late 2012.
The WeatherWise Partnership, which includes representatives from the three levels of government and many other sectors, has identified the continuation of electrical power during extreme weather events as its first priority. Future areas of focus may include urban transportation, flooding and extreme heat.
The WeatherWise Partnership's volunteer Co-Chairs are Dr. Blair Feltmate, University of Waterloo and Director of the Climate Change Adaptation Project (Canada); Eva Ligeti, Executive Director, Clean Air Partnership and co-chair of CivicAction’s Greening Greater Toronto; and Robert Tremblay, Director, Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Mandate of WeatherWise Partnership
- To collaborate to identify key risks associated with extreme weather events and their effects, especially where infrastructure failure could have significant economic, environmental, and social implications
- To develop a strategic plan to identify actions that can be taken to reduce the risks and better protect local infrastructure and the individuals and organizations that depend on it
- To host a forum in fall 2012 to share the action plan with a broad group of stakeholders to inform and influence priorities and investments.
Learn more about climate change adaptation initiatives led by the Toronto Environment Office.
In the summer of 2008, City Council unanimously adopted Ahead of the Storm: Toronto's Climate Change Adaptation Strategy recommended by The Toronto Environment Office, which laid the foundation for the formation of the Action Group. The Adaptation Strategy recommended the establishment of the Toronto Urban Climate Change Network (TUCCN) to engage the three orders of government, universities and non-governmental organizations to support cooperation, communication and research on the issue of climate change adaptation.
The Toronto Environment Office worked with members of TUCCN to hold a one day "Forum on Infrastructure and Climate Change Adaptation" in 2009. The conclusion of that Forum was that there is a need for a "working group on infrastructure and climate change adaptation" with membership including infrastructure owners. The proceedings of this major Forum are available online.
In June 2011, The Toronto Environment Office, in collaboration with the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, convened a multi-stakeholder meeting to determine interest in forming a Regional Action Group. The meeting was attended by 65 individuals representing more than 40 organizations.
A first formal meeting of the Action Group was held on September 28, 2011. Representatives from approximately 50 organizations were in attendance from the financial, insurance, transportation, telecommunications, energy, housing, legal, real estate, engineering and government sectors. The group confirmed that the focus of its first year will be on electrical power continuity.
In 2011, the WeatherWise Partnership identified the electrical sector as its first priority in terms of improving extreme weather resilience in the Toronto Region.
On November 23, 2011, representatives from many electrical organizations – representing generation, transmission and distribution – met to learn more about extreme weather as it pertains to their sector. At this meeting, consensus was reached to establish a working group to oversee a risk assessment of the electrical sector in the Toronto region.
On January 30, 2012, WeatherWise Partnership members received an update on the electrical sector project and discussed next steps.
WeatherWise Partnership Meetings: Presentations
November 23, 2011 Electrical Sector Meeting
- January 30, 2012 WeatherWise Partnership Meeting
- May 15, 2012 WeatherWise Partnership Meeting
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