Two News Items re Canada

As is true in the U.S. major changes seem to occur slowly. See: One year after ice storm, Toronto unveils slew of procedure changes

One year after layers of ice brought down trees around the GTA and left hundreds of thousands of people without power, the City of Toronto has applied for $64.2-million in funding from the province and announced a slew of changes to better handle natural disasters in the future.

The changes bring in the Canadian Red Cross Society as a disaster responder under a formalized agreement, introduce a committee of social services to help facilitate aid to vulnerable populations and seek a closer relationship between Toronto’s 311 service and Toronto Hydro. The funding will help the city cope with more than $106-million in cleanup and disaster response costs.

But a year later, some recommendations from the disaster have yet to be implemented. The city is still in talks with Toronto Hydro over line clearances for trees, something the power agency’s independent report highlighted as a priority. The city is also still trying to determine just how much of the urban canopy — encompassing 10.2 million trees — was decimated in the ice storm.

Canada’s Humanitarian Sector Gears up to Adapt and Innovate. Some excerpts:

Adaptation. Innovation. These two words are usually associated with the private sector. It’s a well-practiced mantra that business, management and employees must adapt and innovate in order to thrive in the frenetic global marketplace. Now there are signs that the humanitarian sector is cautiously following suit.

Made up of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that deliver aid and assistance during human-made and natural disasters, the sector is vast. Ironically, it’s also at a crisis point: It not only faces more demands on its resources, but more complex problems related to climate change, conflict and extremism that simply have no easy solutions. To weather these changes, the Canadian humanitarian sector is coming together to learn how adaptation and innovation can improve its ability to respond effectively to the record number of people in need of assistance.

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