Lyme disease

Top Five Craziest Things Climate Change Recently Did in Canada

melting permafrost canada

Climate change “has moved firmly into the present” as “evidence of human-induced climate change continues to strengthen” and “impacts are increasing across the country,” concluded a recent in-depth U.S. government report.

With no equivalent in Canada of the U.S. team of “300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee” to prepare a report on climate impacts in Canada, DeSmog Canada has made its own report. And by report, we mean a list of… the top five craziest climate change impacts in Canada. Drum roll please….

Increased Mosquito Habitat One Among Many Climate Change Impacts Threatening Public Health

climate change, mosquito

In May 2000 in the town of Walkerton, Ontario, heavy rains swept water containing the O157:H7 strain of E. coli bacteria from a nearby farm into a well of drinking water. For almost two weeks, the two city workers in charge of water quality claimed that there was no danger. Meanwhile, 2300 people fell inexplicably ill and seven died.

City managers Stan and Frank Koebel both faced criminal charges for their part in the slow response to the outbreak. In his report, Justice Dennis O'Connor lambasted the provincial cuts to the Environment Ministry, which lead to the incompetence on the ground level. It was a disaster that could have been prevented had the public officials in charge acknowledged the problem and acted earlier.

At the ICLEI Livable Cities Forum in early April, Public Health Agency of Canada researcher Manon Fluery invoked the specter of Walkerton as a way to illustrate the growing public health risks associated with climate change. Rising water levels, she said, could lead to a growth in gastrointestinal illnesses related to water borne diseases. Extreme weather events that batter aging infrastructure could lead to cross contamination between sewage and drinking water.

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