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PRESS RELEASE - MEETING OF FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL-TERRITORIAL MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
TORONTO, January 26, 2011 — Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers responsible for emergency management met today in Toronto to discuss emergency management priorities.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety Canada and the Honourable Jim Bradley, Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
“I am pleased to announce we have made significant progress today by putting in place many of the tools we need to strengthen emergency management in Canada,” said Minister Toews. “Our respective responsibilities for emergency management ensure the Government of Canada and the provinces and territories work closely to protect the safety and security of all Canadians.”
“Managing emergencies is a collaborative effort. It is an effort that builds on relationships that are essential to effective prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery efforts,” said Minister Bradley. “With the help of my colleagues, we have been able to use our relationships to put into place strategies and action plans that will result in safer and more resilient communities.”
During the meeting, the Ministers approved the 2011 revised edition of An Emergency Management Framework for Canada which reflects recent developments in the emergency management field to strengthen its relevance to governments. The Framework describes the fundamentals of emergency management and reinforces the commitment of complementary responsibilities among governments and supports improvements to emergency management in Canada.
Ministers approved the National Emergency Response System (NERS) which identifies federal, provincial and territorial interactions within the common areas of response activities and facilitates cross-jurisdictional coordination and decision making to ensure an efficient response to domestic emergencies.
The Ministers also introduced a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Resilience Strategy and Action Plan for Canada, which will guide governments to better prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from any CBRNE event. This strategy and action plan will coordinate CBRNE activities and is a result of extensive national consultations with emergency responders, municipalities, provinces, territories and within the federal government.
The Ministers discussed and approved a Strategy for Communications Interoperability
and Action Plan for Canada. This strategy identifies key priorities to enhance governance, standard operating procedures, planning, technology, training, exercises, and usage aimed at improving the voice and data communications for emergency responders ─ both day to day and during times of emergencies affecting more than one jurisdiction.
In addition, the Ministers discussed the current consultation related to the 700 MHz broadband spectrum and securing a portion for the use of emergency responders for public safety and security purposes. Provincial and territorial ministers expressed support for this approach as it offers significant interoperability enhancement potential. The use of the 700 MHz spectrum would link public safety and security stakeholder communities across Canada and along the Canada-U.S. border, while promoting innovation and Canada’s digital economy.
The Ministers expressed appreciation to the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, Canadian Association of Police Chiefs, and Emergency Medical Service Chiefs of Canada for their valuable contribution to the development of the strategies and action plans on CBRNE resilience and communications interoperability.
Provincial and Territorial ministers announced the Provincial/Territorial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Emergency Management Assistance. The adoption of the MOU will enhance emergency management relationships among the provinces and territories by providing a framework for inter-jurisdictional cooperation and access to required resources before, during and after emergency events.
The Ministers reviewed the progress toward the development of an emergency management strategy in support of Aboriginal communities in Canada. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the provinces and territories will continue to work together to develop guidelines that will form the basis of emergency management agreements.
Ministers noted that progress has been made toward the development of a robust national public alerting system to rapidly warn the public of imminent or unfolding dangers. All jurisdictions have been working toward this goal. Ministers also recognized the contribution of the public and private sector partnerships that allow for the delivery of timely warnings to broadcasters and distributors for distribution to their subscribers. The Ministers encourage the full participation of broadcasters and distributors to voluntarily carry emergency alert messages to Canadians.
The Ministers discussed several other emergency management matters, including mitigation funding and a means of recognizing exemplary service for those in the emergency management field.
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For further information:
Media Relations Bruce O’Neill
Public Safety Canada Emergency Management Communications Coordinator
613-991-0657 Ontario Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional