IBC and FCM join forces to recognize communities that are adapting to climate change – First annual Watershed Awards set for May 2010

Ottawa, ON (February 11, 2010) — Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) in partnership with The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) today announced the Watershed Awards, a new annual awards program to recognize Canadian municipalities that have taken proactive measures to reduce their vulnerability to storm and wastewater damage.

The newly launched Watershed Awards will be part of FCM’s Sustainable Community Awards, which, for the past decade, have recognized the best in municipal sustainability.

“Severe weather resulting from climate change has become a formidable foe,” said Don Forgeron, President & CEO, IBC. “Insurers see first hand the impact and havoc this has on individuals and communities. We are leading the response to help Canadians and local government adapt to climate change.”

Canada’s aging infrastructure systems are not able to handle the increased precipitation that is now a reality. The insurance industry is committed to helping communities adapt to climate change by advocating for better municipal infrastructure and by creating innovative programs and partnerships that advocate for the creation of more sustainable communities.

“We are particularly pleased that FCM, the voice of municipal governments in Canada, has agreed to partner with us on this important program,” Forgeron said.

FCM President Basil Stewart, mayor of Summerside, P.E.I., said it will be an honour to recognize cities and communities that are undertaking climate change adaptation measures.

“Municipalities are among the leaders in the battle against climate change and we welcome this opportunity to work with the Insurance Bureau of Canada on this important initiative,” said Stewart. “We look forward to recognizing those municipal governments who are implementing measures to reduce storm and wastewater damage in their communities.”

The Watershed Awards will recognize infrastructure investments and urban development policies and practices that demonstrate leadership by forward-thinking communities. It will shine a spotlight on communities that have taken the initiative to adapt to the effects of climate change to protect its citizens and, in the process, inspire other communities to follow their lead.

The Watershed Awards, which complement and build on FCM’s Sustainable Community Awards program, will be presented on May 29 at FCM’s 73rd Annual Conference and Municipal ExpoTM at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. One winning entry will be selected from each of five regions: British Columbia, the Prairies and the North, Ontario, Qu├ębec and Atlantic Canada.

One of the regional winners will also be named as the recipient of the national Watershed Award and will be honoured as part of FCM’s new Awards of Excellence Gala evening, on Sunday May 30, during the FCM annual conference.The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 9, 2010. For more information, visit www.fcm.ca or www.ibc.ca.

About IBC

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90 per cent of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 110,000 Canadians, pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $39 billion. www.ibc.ca

About FCM

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been the national voice of municipal government since 1901. With more than 1,800 members, FCM represents the interests of municipalities on policy and program matters that fall within federal jurisdiction. Members include Canada’s largest cities, small urban and rural communities and 18 provincial and territorial municipal associations.

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