In mid-November, British Columbia was hit with severe rainfall, flooding, and mudslides, highlighting the damaging effects of climate change for all Canadians.
Mary Ann Aquino, who works for Arts on the Ave remotely in Victoria, was visiting family in Edmonton when roads were closed either due to mudslides or were destroyed by flooding. She was stranded here for six weeks.
“I definitely felt like this experience really opened our eyes,” Aquino says. “We didn’t really expect this is going to be like a typhoon or flooding like this, or anything that’s out of the ordinary.”
Aquino originally moved to Victoria, B.C., because her husband got a new job there and she wanted to take advantage of the warm weather. She’s now seeing freezing rain and snow in the region.
In a survey by Dr. Ellen Field at Lakehead University, “79% of Canadians are concerned about impacts of climate change”. Aquino says she now is cautious about travelling outside of British Columbia and wonders if climate disasters will become a yearly concern.
“Climate change doesn’t just affect the temperature,” she says. “It’s almost like a domino effect.”
Alberta businesses were also disrupted by supply chain issues. Freight trucks bringing goods were stranded, cutting off both Albertans and British Columbians from necessary resources. Consequently, businesses had to readjust their pricing and assess inventory costs.
In the aforementioned survey, 57 per cent of Canadians believe their actions have an impact on climate change, but 79 per cent believe systemic changes are required to address climate change.
Aquino urges world leaders to wake up and do something about climate change. She hopes that governments develop more support for communities and become more prepared in the future.
“[Governments] could have thought about this a long time ago,” Aquino says. “Now that things happen drastically and in the worst possible way, that’s when they start realizing that we need to up our game [and] we start realizing that climate change [is] here, we are experiencing climate change.”
She wants these climate disasters to be a wake up call for everyone. She thinks people should be much more vigilant now on understanding climate change and seeing what things we can do to help slow down the progression of climate change.
“It definitely affects not just one person, but the whole entire community, the whole entire province,” Aquino says.