IBC shows support for City of Toronto’s new chief resilience officer

The new role is being funded by a program designed to strengthen urban environments around the world

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has congratulated the City of Toronto on the creation of a municipal chief resilience officer (CRO) position, noting the role will improve emergency preparedness.

Elliott Cappell was appointed as Toronto’s first ever CRO in June, which was “created to lead city-wide resilience-building efforts to help Toronto prepare for catastrophic events and urban stresses that are increasingly part of 21st century life,” says the City of Toronto in a press release. His main responsibility is creating a comprehensive resilience strategy for the city.

Related: IBC lauds governments’ plan to protect Toronto waterfront from flooding

The IBC says Cappell is a global expert on climate change strategy and resiliency. “Having a chief resilience officer sends a powerful message. This will allow the city to grow and thrive in a safe and responsible way while recognizing and adapting to the effects of climate change,” says Kim Donaldson, Ontario vice-president of the IBC, in a press release.

In the city’s release, Toronto mayor John Tory referenced recent Lake Ontario flooding, lack of affordable housing and aging infrastructure as issues that need to be addressed by Cappell’s new resilience strategy.

Related: IBC supports outcomes of disaster risk reduction conference

Toronto was selected from almost 1,000 cities that applied to be chosen as one of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) global initiative. The 100RC organization is part of a $164-million commitment by the non-profit Rockefeller Foundation to build urban resilience in 100 cities around the world.

“Canadian municipalities must do more to be prepared for when disasters strike. We know that insurance itself is not sufficient; federal and provincial governments can coordinate on a ‘whole of society’ approach to reduce risk for all Canadians,” says Donaldson.

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