Is the Laurentides Region vulnerable to Climate Change?

The Public Health Department of the Integrated Health and Social Services Centre (CISSS) of the Laurentides region has released a pivotal report on the regional population’s vulnerability to climate change, known as the VRAC (Vulnerability Regional Assessment to Climate Change) project. This assessment aims to evaluate the potential consequences of various climatic and natural events, collectively termed as hazards, that could significantly impact the health, safety, and quality of life of the residents.
Key Findings of the VRAC Project
The VRAC project’s findings will play a crucial role in identifying the most vulnerable sectors and communities within the region. These insights are essential for raising awareness and equipping regional stakeholders with the necessary tools for planning and implementing effective interventions and adaptation strategies to climate change.
In the Laurentides region, certain hazards such as extreme heat, storms, heavy precipitation, floods, and drought are expected to have a more significant impact on the population than others. The report highlights that due to varying levels of sensitivity, adaptive capacity, and exposure to climate-induced phenomena, certain vulnerable individuals could be disproportionately affected. Furthermore, the levels of vulnerability to the effects of climate change also vary across different territorial jurisdictions of the regional county municipalities, depending on local and geographical contexts.
The Role of VRAC in Public Health Intervention
The VRAC report offers a comprehensive understanding of the direct and indirect risks posed by certain hazards to people’s quality of life. With this knowledge, public health officials and regional partners can proactively target adaptation actions to preserve the health and well-being of the population, preparing them to be more resilient to climate change.
Planning for Adaptation: The VRAC-PARC Project
The VRAC project is the initial phase of a broader initiative named VRAC-PARC, overseen by the Quebec National Public Health Institute. Following the release of the VRAC report, the Public Health Department of the CISSS of Laurentides is advancing its efforts by developing a Regional Adaptation Plan to Climate Change (PARC).
A Commitment to Strengthening Community Resilience
Dr. Éric Goyer, the Public Health Director of the Laurentides, emphasized the department’s commitment to enhancing the resilience and adaptation of communities to meet the challenges posed by climate change. “For the Public Health Department, it’s crucial to contribute to reinforcing the resilience and adaptation of our communities so that they can effectively confront the challenges associated with climate change,” says Dr. Goyer.