Mortality risk, recent weather-related events influenced by climate change, mitigation and adaptation are the subjects of a new research report from Statistics Canada, entitled Research to Insights: Social, Economic, and Health Perspectives on Climate Change.

The report which briefly summarizes the data sources related to climate change that Statistics Canada has published over time, defines climate change as a long-term shift in weather conditions. They add that there is scientific consensus that human activity is the main cause of climate change and list a few Canadian policy examples where climate change has been made a priority.

Among the research facts cited, they say there is a 4.9 per cent higher incidence of lung cancer and a 10 per cent higher incidence of brain tumours for those living within 50 kilometers of a wildfire in the past 10 years. “Other cancers examined did not see a significantly increased risk,” they write.

Extreme heat events 

In looking at data from 2000 to 2020, meanwhile, they add that in 12 large Canadian cities, daily mortality risk was between two per cent and eight per cent higher than average during extreme heat events. “Approximately 295 excess deaths in Montreal and 250 excess deaths in Toronto were attributable to extreme heat events in these cities during this period,” they add.

Among the mitigation and adaptation measures, they look at cooling centre and air conditioning usage, and carbon taxes, and also point out that telework, based on 2015 estimates, has the potential to reduce transportation emissions by up to 9.6 megatons every year.