The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), this morning announced the Watershed Awards, a new annual awards program to recognize Canadian municipalities that have taken proactive measures to reduce their vulnerability to storm and wastewater damage.

The newly launched Watershed Awards will be part of FCM’s Sustainable Community Awards, which, for the past decade, have recognized the best in municipal sustainability.

“Severe weather resulting from climate change has become a formidable foe,” said Don Forgeron, president & CEO, IBC. “Insurers see first hand the impact and havoc this has on individuals and communities. We are leading the response to help Canadians and local government adapt to climate change.”

“Municipalities are among the leaders in the battle against climate change and we welcome this opportunity to work with the Insurance Bureau of Canada on this important initiative,” said Basil Stewart, FCM’s president. “We look forward to recognizing those municipal governments who are implementing measures to reduce storm and wastewater damage in their communities.”

The Watershed Awards will recognize infrastructure investments and urban development policies and practices that demonstrate leadership by forward-thinking communities. It will shine a spotlight on communities that have taken the initiative to adapt to the effects of climate change to protect its citizens and, in the process, inspire other communities to follow their lead.

The Watershed Awards will be presented on May 29 at FCM’s 73rd Annual Conference and Municipal Expo at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto on May 30. One winning entry will be selected from each of five regions: British Columbia, the Prairies and the North, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. One of the regional winners will also be named as the recipient of the national Watershed Award.

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The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 9, 2010.

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