Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate

The Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action report will provide an assessment of the risks of climate change to the health of Canadians and to the health care system. It will support actions by health decision makers at local, provincial/territorial and national levels, as well as those who work in public health, health care, emergency management, research, and community organizations. In this report, you can expect to read about:

  • natural hazards
  • water security and safety
  • food security and safety
  • mental health and well-being
  • infectious disease
  • air quality
  • health co-benefits and risks
  • populations of concern
  • Indigenous populations and communities
  • health system vulnerabilities
  • health sector adaptation, capacity and resilience

Health Canada is leading the development of the Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action report, with a planned release date of 2021.


What we’ve heard

In the spring of 2017, partners and stakeholders in public health, health care, emergency management, and related sectors were contacted to seek their views on the Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action report. We learned that stakeholders continue to use our previous assessmentsFootnote 1 to inform their activities. We also learned that our next assessment should:

  • include the latest, in-depth information on climate change and health
  • focus on impacts to populations of higher concern such as children, seniors, low-income families, people with pre-existing health conditions, and Indigenous peoples
  • provide an inventory of health-adaptation best practices
  • incorporate input and feedback from stakeholders and the public

We’re still listening. If you have case studies or stories of climate change health impacts and/or response strategies, you may send them directly to Health Canada at or submit them by clicking “Submit relevant documents” on the Share your Views page.

Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate – Lead Authors

Photo of Peter Berry

Peter Berry, PhD (Health Canada)

Since arriving at Health Canada in 1999, Dr. Peter Berry has conducted research in several areas related to climate change including health risks to Canadians, adaptive capacity, health vulnerability assessment and communicating climate change risks to the public. He is currently a Senior Policy Analyst and Science Advisor to the Director at the Climate Change and Innovation Bureau at Health Canada. Peter actively participates in a number of collaborative efforts related to understanding the impacts of climate change on health and supporting the development of effective adaptation measures. Peter helped develop climate change and health assessment guidelines released by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care in Ontario and also similar guidelines tailored for small island developing states in the Caribbean that are forthcoming.  Peter is a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5oC and serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo.

Photo of Céline Campagna

Céline Campagna, PhD (Institut national de santé publique du Québec)

Céline Campagna est engagée dans la santé environnementale depuis plus de 15 ans, principalement dans les domaines de la toxicologie et des changements climatiques. Détentrice d'un doctorat en sciences animales de l'Université Laval, elle travaille à l'Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) depuis 2009, où elle procure une expertise-conseil tant dans les domaines de l'eau, des zoonoses et des changements climatiques. Depuis 2017, elle agit à titre de responsable à la coordination scientifique du volet santé du Plan d'action sur les changements climatiques du Gouvernement du Québec. Dr Campagna est également chercheure d'établissement à l'INSPQ et professeure associée au département de Médecine Sociale et Préventive de l’Université Laval, ainsi qu’au Centre Terre, Eau, Environnement de l’Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, au Québec.



Margo Greenwood, PhD (National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health)

Dr. Margo Greenwood, Academic Leader of the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health, is an Indigenous scholar of Cree ancestry with years of experience focused on the health and well-being of Indigenous children, families and communities. She is also Vice-President of Aboriginal Health for the Northern Health Authority in British Columbia and Professor in both the First Nations Studies and Education programs at the University of Northern British Columbia. While her academic work crosses disciplines and sectors, she is particularly recognized regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally for her work in early childhood care and education of Indigenous children and for public health. Margo has served on numerous national and provincial federations, committees and assemblies, and has undertaken work with UNICEF, the United Nations, the Canadian Council on Social Determinants of Health, Public Health Network of Canada, and the Canadian Institute of Health Research, specifically, the Institute for Aboriginal Peoples Health. Margo received the Queen's Jubilee medal in 2002 in recognition of her tireless work to promote awareness and policy action on the rights and well-being of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children, youth and families. In 2010, she was named ‘Academic of the Year’ by the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia, and in the following year, she was honoured with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Education.

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Sherilee Harper, PhD (University of Guelph)

Sherilee Harper is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta and a Canada Research Chair in Climate Change and Health.  Her research investigates associations between weather, environment, and Indigenous health in the context of climate change, and she collaborates with Indigenous partners to prioritise climate-related health actions, planning, interventions, and research. She is a Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC); Lead Author on the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6-WG2); serves on the Gender Task Group for the IPCC; and serves on the Editorial Board of Epidemiology and Infection (area of specialty: climate change and infectious disease).

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Katie Hayes, PhD candidate (University of Toronto)

Katie Hayes is a Ph.D candidate in the Social Behavioural Health Sciences program at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto (UofT). Her research investigates the mental health consequences of climate change, with a specific focus on addressing the inequitable risks and impacts on marginalized groups. Her research also explores what is being done to support psychosocial resilience within a changing climate in Canada.  Katie has written and published a number of articles exploring the mental health consequences of climate change. She holds an M.A from Royal Roads University in International Communications and a B.A in Sociology and Intercultural Education.

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Kate Mulligan, PhD (AOHC)

Kate Mulligan is the Director of Policy and Communications at the Alliance for Healthier Communities, a vibrant network of organizations advancing health equity through comprehensive primary health care. She is also an Assistant Professor in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and a Faculty Affiliate in the School of Cities, at the University of Toronto, where her work focuses on building healthier cities and communities through innovation, systems change and healthy public policy. A health geographer with expertise in climate and health equity, Kate is frequently called upon as an advisor to government and community organizations.

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Tim K. Takaro, MD, MPH, MS. (Simon Fraser University)

Dr. Takaro is a physician-scientist trained in occupational and environmental medicine, public health and toxicology, at Yale, the University of North Carolina and University of Washington and in 2017 began his second term as Associate Dean for Research at Simon Fraser University. His research is primarily directed toward the links between human exposures and disease, and determining public health based preventive solutions to such risks. These include disease susceptibility factors in environmental and occupational health, particularly inflammatory lung conditions, including asthma, chronic beryllium disease and asbestosis. His work includes use of biological and other markers for medical surveillance, exposure assessment, and disease susceptibility with a focus on immunologic lung disease, human health and war, clinical occupational and environmental health and population resiliency in the health effects of climate change. Current research on human health and climate change focuses on water quality in BC communities and the interaction of cumulative exposures related to resource extraction and climate change.

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Rebekka Schnitter, MCC (Health Canada)

Rebekka is a policy analyst at Health Canada’s Climate Change and Innovation Bureau. Her work at CCIB includes supporting the National Climate Change and Health Assessment, supporting the national climate change and health adaptation capacity building program and leading the development of an SGBA+ strategy for the bureau. Her primary research interests include exploring the relationship between climate change, food security and human health, and analysing the development and implementation of adaptation actions from a health equity lens. Rebekka completed her Bachelor of Science in geography at the University of Victoria and obtained a master’s degree in climate change from the University of Waterloo.



Donna Atkinson, MA (National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health)

Donna Atkinson is the Manager of the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. She graduated with a Master of Arts degree in History in 2005 from the University of Northern British Columbia focused on the Indigenous rights movement and oil and gas development in Northwest Siberia in the Soviet and post-Soviet era. Prior to joining the NCCAH in 2006, Donna worked as a researcher on community-based, qualitative research projects focused on Indigenous health and sustainable resource management.

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Nicholas Ogden, BVSc DPhil  (PHAC)

Dr. Nick Ogden is a UK-trained veterinarian (University of Liverpool, 1983). After 10 years of mixed clinical practice, he then completed a doctorate in Lyme disease ecology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford in 1996. During the six years he spent as a professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, he continued his research into the ecology and epidemiology of tick-borne diseases of public health importance in Europe and those of importance to livestock production in Africa. In 2002 he moved to Canada, where he continued research on the ecology of Lyme disease and other zoonoses and climate change as a research scientist at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). As interim Director of the Environmental Issues Division of PHAC he directed a program on climate change and vector- and water-borne disease risks, and community adaptation to these risks. As Director of the Zoonoses Division he directed programs on national coordination, surveillance and prevention of zoonoses including Lyme disease and West Nile virus. He is now a senior research scientist and Director of Public Health Risk Sciences division within the National Microbiology Laboratory of PHAC focusing on assessing risk by study of the ecology, epidemiology and genetic diversity of vectors and zoonotic and vector-borne micro-organisms, assessing impacts of climate change on zoonoses and vector-borne diseases, and developing tools for public health adaptation.

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Pierre Gosselin (Institut national de santé publique du Québec)

Pierre currently works primarily at the Quebec Public Health Institute (INSPQ), where he coordinates the joint Ouranos-INSPQ research program in climate change and health. He was also in charge of the Health component of the Quebec Action Plan on Climate Change (2007-2017) and remains involved in some projects. He is also a clinical professor in preventive medicine at Université Laval and an associate at Institut national de la recherche scientifique, both in Quebec City. Pierre was trained as a physician (Université Laval) and in environmental health (University of California at Berkeley).



Paddy Enright, PhD candidate (University of Waterloo)

Paddy Enright is a Policy Analyst within Health Canada’s Climate Change and Innovation Bureau where his work includes supporting the development of the National Climate Change and Health Assessment and the launch of a national climate change and health adaptation capacity building program. Additionally, Paddy is a PhD candidate within the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo. In his PhD work Paddy is exploring means of fostering climate-resilience within rural Canadian health systems and methods of evaluating resilience building adaptation efforts. In addition to his PhD work, Paddy has ongoing research interests related to nature-based solutions, disaster risk reduction, and environmental health and justice. Prior to beginning his PhD, Paddy completed a M.Sc. Bioresource Engineering at McGill University where his studies focused on the relationship between water resource management and public health. Paddy has worked in the field of water resource management in academic, not-for-profit and corporate settings.



Roberta Stout, National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health

Roberta Stout is Cree and a member of the Kehewin First Nation, located in Alberta. She holds an undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Carleton University, a graduate degree in Latin American Studies from Simon Fraser University, and a Cree Language Immersion Certificate from Blue Quills First Nations College. Since 1998, Roberta has led concurrent and multi-year research projects on the determinants of related to Indigenous peoples. She is currently a Research Associate with the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health and resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba.



Regine Halseth, National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health

Regine Halseth has worked as a Research Associate with the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health at the University of Northern British Columbia for the past 11 years. After graduating from the University of Victoria in 1986, she worked for five years as a researcher for the Social Program Evaluation Group at Queen’s University. She then moved to the University of Northern British Columbia where she worked as a researcher on several projects, including a Forest Renewal Research Grant on Community Participation in the New Forest Economy, a project on Indigenous land claims, and a Community-University Research Alliance grant, “Partnering for Sustainable Resource Management.” 

Photo of Phil Blagden

Phil Blagden, Health Canada

Phil Blagden is a science advisor in Health Canada’s air quality program and has more than thirty years of experience in government as a scientist and policy advisor in the field of environmental pollution, primarily in the area of indoor and outdoor air quality.

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