The Big One: How A Massive Earthquake Could Shake Canada’s Financial Sector – And How We Can Ride It Out

The Conference Board of Canada, January 17, 2017
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The Big One – an earthquake on or near Canada’s west coast registering around 9.0 in magnitude – has the potential to send economic and financial aftershocks all across the country. Such a massive earthquake could cause insurance companies to fail and trigger a domino effect across the financial sector. At present, Canada is not prepared to deal with the consequences.

In this special complementary webinar, find out what rare but major earthquake could do to the insurance industry and broader financial sector. Moreover, gain insight into the measures that could be taken now to mitigate the economic impacts of such a shock. While we cannot prevent earthquakes, we can plan for them – and it is estimated that there is a 30 per cent chance of a major quake on the west coast within the next 50 years.

This webinar is based on a recent Conference Board of Canada analysis, Canada’s Earthquake Risk: Macroeconomic Impacts and Systemic Financial Risk. The objective of the study was to test the capability of the Canadian economy to deal with earthquake risk.

Webinar Highlights

In the webinar, Pedro Antunes will address the key findings of the analysis:

  • The impact of a magnitude 9.0 or greater earthquake on the insurance industry – such a event could stress the capacity of Canada’s insurers, leading to failures and contagion across the financial sector.
  • The economic impact over 10 years, including lower GDP, reduced employment, and the impact that financial contagion may have in delaying the rebuilding effort.
  • The impact on federal and provincial finances due to lower economic growth and significant government spending for the recovery effort.
  • Government policy options to mitigate these financial risks.

About Pedro

Pedro Antunes is Executive Director, Economic Outlook and Analysis, and Deputy Chief Economist at The Conference Board of Canada. Pedro Antunes leads a team of economists responsible for the production of the Conference Board’s suite of economic forecast products, as well as other reports and economic indicators that relate to Canada and its regions. Mr. Antunes is a spokesperson for the Conference Board. He makes numerous presentations on economic topics and dialogues with Canadian leaders, the public and media about issues important to Canada.

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