Climate Change and Transportation in the Canadian Shield
Free Public Conference

Saturday, March 2, 2019

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Robert B. Schultz Theatre, St. John's College, U of M

*Free parking is available in Lot Q.

Conference Agenda


About the Conference

Climate change is affecting the existing road and rail infrastructure in the Canadian Shield. Melting permafrost and unusual storms have caused infrastructure gaps to emerge, and exposed the networks to greater maintenance. New methods and materials are being tested to stabilize these structures, but this does not lower the costs. Gravel roads in the Canadian Shield average about $3 million per kilometer to build.

Since its inception in 1984, the Transport Institute has been involved in northern transportation studies. The impact of climate change has been addressed for all modes of transport. The Associates of the Transport Institute have established research records in sustainable transport, northern transport and climate change. In addition, the CN Chair for Sustainable Transport is linked to the Institute.

The evidence of climate change points to a growing threat for the people living in remote northern communities. As climate variability grows stronger, the seasonal road transportation systems in the North are becoming less reliable. Half the useful season of the Winter Road network has been lost since 1996, and is predicted to shrink shorter. Even in weak El Nino years, like 2019, the ability of ice road truckers to reach remote communities becomes more uncertain.

This conference has broad public interest and many stakeholders. The free conference will be open to the general public and anyone concerned about the future of northern transport.

If you have questions about the conference, please contact Dr. Barry E. Prentice.