Dr. Theresa Tam says climate change is the single biggest threat to human health on the planet. Here’s what social purpose organizations can do right now

Canada’s chief public health officer says the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic should drive rapid preparation for climate change’s inevitable health impacts

Why It Matters

Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. Those changes will bring with them a host of profound healthcare challenges, from brutal heat waves to more frequent disease outbreaks - and social purpose organizations play a critical role in Canada’s healthcare system.

This independent journalism is made possible by the Future of Good editorial fellowship on climate change and human health, supported by Manulife. See our editorial ethics and standards here.

For the past three years, the most immediate threat to public health in Canada has been the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 47,000 people have died from the virus to date, straining Canada’s healthcare and social safety nets to the breaking point. Well over a million Canadians are also suffering from the effects of long COVID. Grief over COVID-related deaths, or mental health effects due to the pandemic itself, are also still taking their toll. But as devastating as the COVID-19 pandemic has been, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer believes other threats loom larger.

“This includes w

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