The weather outside is frightful, to be sure, but Pictou council much to their credit is pondering conditions at the other end of the seasons. There's good reason for that, since a Climate Change Action Plan will take a lot of work and problem solving. The sooner the start the better.
At a council meeting Monday, members adopted the plan with its aim of identifying potential hazards, the results of storm-related activity as we experience increasingly severe weather events. It's the kind of issue that will affect municipalities everywhere, but coastal communities like Pictou will have those extra challenges related to occurrences, for example, such as tidal surges.
The next step, following adoption of the plan, was to submit it as part of the federal and provincial agreement on gas tax transfers.
We only have to look at the severe flooding in Calgary last spring for an example of the unexpected when it comes to nature. Such events, unfortunate as they are, provide lessons on forecasting what should be in place to ease the effects, to ensure the safety of residents and to recover quickly.
In Monday's discussion, Town of Pictou CAO Scott Conrod brought up such issues as damage to the marina from previous storms. But a key point he said would be a storm water management plan, with a look at the system as it is and assessment of upgrades needed to handle volumes of water from a particularly heavy storm surge.
We've been hearing warnings from insurance companies in recent years that the weather is playing havoc with rates. The so-called weather event of the century is happening in areas far more frequently. It means paying a lot more attention when it comes to where to build and the standards in place.
Looking at the infrastructure in any city or town, it just takes one bad weather event to cause a lot of damage to residences and businesses, to say nothing of compromised safety. And then there's the cleanup in the aftermath.
The cost of preparation will certainly pay for itself in the long run. It's good to see the town getting a jump on this.