Experts on a panel during the Disaster Proofing Canada event.

Carleton Hosts Disaster Proofing Sessions for Top Officials

Pictures by Mike Pinder

Canada needs to do more to prepare for emergencies, according to Canadian and international experts gathered at a conference hosted by Carleton University on Feb. 2, 2017 in downtown Ottawa.

MPs, political staffers, ambassadors and high commissioners, senior government officials, journalists, and Carleton faculty and students listened to military leaders, private-sector companies, the Red Cross, and insurance industry executives speak at Disaster Proofing Canada: Preparedness for Parliamentarians.

“In cyber, I see a fairly strong commitment to prevention,’’ said Paul Kovacs, executive director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. “On natural disasters, we have not had the same commitment to investing in prevention. Why?”

Disaster Proofing Canada: Prevention Cheaper than Recovery

Experts from Japan and New Zealand stressed that it is cheaper to invest in prevention than pay for recovery. And both said that a speedy response is essential to long-term recovery. Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and NSA, warned of the compounding vulnerability of cyberthreats.

Some of the takeaways included improving risk governance, building resilience, investing in risk reduction, instituting a national volunteer corps and implementing a better “response and re-build” mechanism.

The session was organized by Carleton’s Initiative for Parliamentary and Diplomatic Engagement.