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PRESS RELEASE - FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL-TERRITORIAL MINISTERS MEET TO DISCUSS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
OTTAWA, September 11, 2013 —Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers responsible for emergency management met today in Ottawa to discuss emergency management priorities. The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Honourable Suzanne Anton, British Columbia Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
“This meeting with my provincial and territorial colleagues today has been productive. Ministers Doug Griffiths from Alberta and Stéphane Bergeron from Quebec have highlighted some of the lessons they drew from events in Southern Alberta and Lac-Mégantic,” said Minister Blaney. “We have agreed on the need for federal, provincial and territorial governments to work closely on emergency management to ensure the safety and security of Canadians and to find more effective ways to better protect Canadian communities from disasters.”
“B.C. will continue to collaborate with our federal, provincial, and territorial colleagues to protect public safety,” said Minister Anton. “Specifically, we are eager to work together on a national disaster mitigation program that will result in proactive, cost-effective solutions to protect our communities.”
Ministers all recognized that mitigation efforts can lessen the impact of disasters on communities and reduce the costs associated with these events. They were all supportive of working together on the timely development of a future national disaster mitigation program.
Ministers tasked officials to consider a means by which jurisdictions can access an inventory of emergency management assets, services and resources across the country.
Ministers also discussed the importance of mandatory broadcaster participation in Canada’s National Public Alerting System, which is designed to warn Canadians of imminent threat-to-life emergencies. Ministers agreed to request that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission take steps to ensure that Canadian commercial broadcasters and cable and satellite companies be required to broadcast emergency alerts. Albertans will continue to receive their warnings from broadcasters via the Alberta Emergency Alert System.
Ministers acknowledged the challenges surrounding emergency management in Aboriginal communities. They committed to increase collaboration and engagement to better support emergency management in Aboriginal communities.
Ministers also discussed progress on making a portion of the 700 MHz broadband spectrum accessible to emergency responders for public safety use and noted the joint federal-provincial-territorial efforts underway regarding a potential public safety broadband network.
“I am pleased that I can count on the on-going collaboration of my provincial and territorial colleagues. It is important that we continue the dialogue on the future of emergency management in Canada to enhance the safety and security of Canadians,” added Minister Blaney.
For further information:
Jean-Christophe de Le Rue
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada
BC Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General