North

Transport Canada to study climate change impact on 3 northern airports

The study will focus on three northern airports: Inuvik, N.W.T., Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, and Churchill, Man. It will examine the damage and look at ways to stop it from getting worse, but critics say it's a band-aid solution.

Study looks at Inuvik, N.W.T., Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, and Churchill, Man.

View from the airport in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. Transport Canada is spending $160,000 on a year-long study to look at the impact of climate change on 3 northern airports.

The federal government is commissioning a study to look at the effects climate change is having on northern infrastructure.

The study will focus on three northern airports: Inuvik, N.W.T., Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, and Churchill, Man. It will examine the damage and look at ways to stop it from getting worse.

Transport Canada says the results could help airport operators determine what investments are needed and help them adapt to the changing climate.

But critics say it's simply a band-aid solution.

Dennis Bevington, the member of Parliament for the Western Arctic, says a study about how to adapt misses the point.

"We can't just simply adapt to climate change. We need to actually aggressively pursue the reduction in the factors that are causing climate change and we certainly have not seen that from this Conservative government," he said. 

In Transport Canada's request for proposals, the federal department says climate change is having an effect on Canadian infrastructure. It says "a changing climate represents a profound risk to the safety of engineered systems and to public safety in Canada and around the world."

Bevington says that wording in itself is unusual. 

"It's been a government that's been denying the impact from climate change. Denying in some case the very idea that climate change is occurring," he said.  

The year-long study will cost the federal government about $160,000. 

Research is expected to wrap up in March 2016.

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