1/5 of young adults affected by wildfires say they'd think of moving: Angus Reid
With Canada in the midst of a record-breaking year for wildfires, some young Canadians are factoring in wildfire prone areas for their next move.
A new survey from the Angus Reid Institute found 24 per cent of Canadians younger than the age of 35 who experienced wildfires in the past five years are considering a move to someplace safer, while the number jumps to 26 per cent among women.
“It’s a pretty critical mass of people when we think about how many in our population demographics belong to Gen Z or are younger millennials,” Shachi Kurl, president of The Angus Reid Institute said in a television interview with BNN Bloomberg Wednesday.
“It’s maybe a little bit easier when you’re between the ages of 18 to 34 to think about your mobility. You can move more easily.”
Overall, 13 per cent of Canadians impacted by wildfires in the past five years are considering a move.
Federal data shows 5,753 wildfires burned more than 13.6 million hectares as of Aug. 16, more than six times the 10-year average and the worst on record.
“This year was so different in that for the first time Toronto was dealing with the air quality problems that we deal with on an almost annual basis in the summer,” Kurl said from Vancouver. “It really does speak to the fact that there is no running from – or hiding from – the impacts of wildfires.”
Recent wildfires have forced a city-wide evacuation of Yellowknife. Mayor Rebecca Atly said Tuesday that city staff are planning for residents to return, but don’t yet have a timeline.
Meanwhile in B.C., wildfires have damaged or destroyed nearly 200 structures in West Kelowna.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted two online surveys for this project. One survey was fielded between Aug. 8-11, 2023 among a representative randomized sample of 1,606 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum.
Another study was fielded between July 26-31, 2023 among a representative randomized sample of 3,016 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 1.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
With files from CTV News