The Canadian Military and Climate Emergencies


October 22, 2021

In this episode of Defence Deconstructed, David Perry is joined by Dr. Laura Chaloner, Craig Stewart, BGen Jeff Smyth, and Adam MacDonald to discuss Canada's climate disaster preparedness and response, and the role the Canadian Armed Forces can play in those efforts.

This episode is made possible thanks to the support of the Department of National Defence’s MINDS program

Defence Deconstructed is brought to you by Irving Shipbuilding.


Participant Biographies:

  • Laura Chaloner is currently the Chief of Geomatics and a Senior Operations Officer for the Government Operation Center at Public Safety Canada. As the chief of geomatics she manages the team in creating and maintaining geomatics products for emergency management activities. When on duty as a Senior Operations Officer she manages a 24/7 operations center and a team of duty officers who respond to events of National interest. Dr. Chaloner obtained a PhD in chemistry from Concordia University in 2015. The same year she commence her career in Public Service at Health Canada, where she worked as a physical scientist for the Nuclear Emergency Preparedness Division. She spent 5 years in the Nuclear emergency management field until 2020 when she joined the Health Canada’s COVID-19 Task Force to respond to the Pandemic. In 2021 she joined Public Safety, her current position, focusing on emergency management and specializing in Requests for Federal Assistance.
  • BGen Smyth graduated with his pilot wings in 1994 and was posted to 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Petawawa, Ontario. His operational experience includes deployments to Haiti (1995-96) flying the CH135 Twin Huey, Bosnia-Herzegovina (2000-01) and Afghanistan (2009-10) flying the CH146 Griffon. In 2020 he was promoted to his present rank and posted to the position of Director General Operations at Canadian Joint Operations Command in Ottawa.
  • Craig Stewart leads national work on disaster resilience and climate change at the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) - the industry association representing the property and casualty insurance industry in Canada. IBC’s members employ over 122,000 Canadians and paid out $9.8 billion in property claims in 2016, primarily due to severe weather and wildfire.
  • Adam P. MacDonald is a PhD candidate in the Political Science Department at Dalhousie University. He is, also, a member of two Department of Defence funded academic networks - The Defence and Security Foresight Group and the North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network. He is a Killam Scholar and holds a Department of Defence MINDS Doctoral Scholarship. In September 2020 he began a two-year Fellowship at the Canadian International Council.

Host Biography:

  • Dave Perry: Senior Analyst and Vice President with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

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