U. of Waterloo, Intact Financial seek ways to reduce damage from severe weather

WATERLOO, Ont. – The University of Waterloo and Intact Financial Corp. (TSX:IFC) have created a new research centre that will look for new ways to reduce weather-related property damage linked to climate change.

Intact will initially provide $4.25 million for a program focused on how to protect Canadian communities from severe precipitation, such as unusually heavy rains and ice storms.

Another program will identify how various Canadian industrial sectors are vulnerable to extreme weather.

The new Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation will be based in the university’s environment faculty. The centre will monitor applied research from around the world and conduct its own research.

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

Intact has been warning for several years that weather-related events such as unusually heavy rainfall have become a major challenge to the insurance industry, consumers and business.

Blair Feltmate, the University of Waterloo professor who will lead the new centre, previously worked with the company on 20 pilot projects in five provinces.

Intact provided $700,000 for the pilot projects, including $75,000 to create more porous ground by ripping up paving in Calgary and the Ontario communities of Mississauga, Peterborough, Kingston and Ottawa.