Public health officials say last summer's heat wave deaths didn't have to happen

Montreal's public health department is launching an action plan after 66 people died during last summer's heatwave between June 30 and July 8.

Most of the victims were living alone, on low incomes, lived on heat islands, were elderly or suffered from chronic and mental illness.

Public health director Dr. Mylène Drouin said the deaths were preventable.

There were fewer deaths during this heatwave compared to the one in 2010 but Drouin said they are still concerned that with climate change, it could happen more often.

The public health department is now keeping records of at-risk groups and locations so that first responders and social workers know where to go.

They'll also be issuing more prevention advisories with advice on ways to keep cool and stay safe during a heatwave.

Another short term measure: planting more temporary greenery and wall vines. These could make it as much as two to four degrees cooler.

Long term measures include more tree planting and environmentally friendly measures to fight climate change.