ST. JOHN'S, May 26, 2017 — Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers responsible for emergency management met today to discuss pan-Canadian priorities, a timely meeting in light of the recent floods across the nation.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Honourable Eddie Joyce, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, Newfoundland and Labrador. Ministers were hosted at the Canadian Forces Surgeon Lieutenant-Commander W. Anthony Paddon Building in St. John's.
Since the last FPT Ministers' meeting in May 2016, the Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments have continued to work toward a whole-of-society approach to strengthening Canada's readiness for emergencies. This includes working together to update the Emergency Management Framework for Canada, creating the Recovery Working Group to examine the challenges related to disaster recovery, and taking initial steps to work in collaboration with Indigenous representatives to improve emergency management capabilities and resilience in northern and Indigenous communities. Furthermore, funding for Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) teams was restored, and stakeholders are being engaged on options for the potential development of a Public Safety Broadband Network.
Today, Ministers discussed how disasters pose an increasing threat to the safety and economic stability of Canadian individuals, communities and businesses. Ministers agreed to continue to work together on long-term solutions to sustainable disaster recovery. These solutions include moving toward a more balanced approach to emergency management, focusing on disaster prevention and mitigation, while continuing to improve response and recovery. Ministers also discussed the review of the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements with a focus on improving administration and examining cost-sharing mechanisms. Ministers were updated on the new federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, which provides $2 billion over ten years to support infrastructure required to deal with the effects of a changing climate.
Further, Ministers approved an updated Emergency Management Framework for Canada, the third edition since it was first issued ten years ago. The Framework consolidates FPT collaboration relating to emergency management. In particular, it ensures that the measures put forward by governments are cohesive. The revised Framework aligns with the principles of key international agreements such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and the Paris Agreement on climate change. It also reflects the ever-changing emergency management environment; reinforces an approach focussed on all disaster risks; makes linkages to climate change and sustainability; and recognizes the need for all areas of society to work together to enhance resilience.
Ministers also agreed to launch a pan-Canadian Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award that will be introduced in the fall of 2017, to recognize those who have distinguished themselves through their exemplary service and contribution in their respective fields. Awards will be granted to groups and individuals in five categories: Resilient Communities; Youth; Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Management; Search and Rescue Volunteers; and Search and Rescue Employees.
Finally, Ministers welcomed the recent decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Regulatory Policy to make it mandatory for wireless service providers to implement wireless public alerting by April, 2018. This decision allows alerting authorities and their partners to work toward providing Canadians with public alerts on their mobile devices to help them take immediate action to protect themselves and their families.
"My colleagues and I have made significant progress over the last year, and it doesn't stop here. We will continue to build momentum and strengthen the way governments and partners assess risks and work together to build resilience in Canadian communities."
"The significance of emergency preparedness is becoming even more critical, especially since we are seeing more impacts from natural disasters across the globe. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to working together with our federal, provincial, and territorial colleagues to enhance public safety and ensure we are all prepared to respond to emergencies in a timely and informed manner."
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Media Relations Office
Public Safety Canada
Media Relations Manager
Municipal Affairs and Environment, Newfoundland and Labrador