VANCOUVER, January 10, 2007 — Federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for emergency management met today in a ministerial forum to enhance the coordination efforts for the protection and safety of Canadians. The ministers also discussed, among other items, a national public alerting system, disaster mitigation, and improvements to the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA).
This year’s meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety and the Honourable John Les, British Columbia Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, and attended by Ministers and emergency management officials from Canada’s provinces and territories.
At the meeting, federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for emergency management approved An Emergency Management Framework for Canada which describes the fundamentals of emergency management. It aims to support the design, implementation and on-going improvements of emergency management in Canada, and the harmonization of the federal approach to complement each provincial and territorial system.
Ministers also approved the Strategy for Emergency Training in Canada which will help advance the shared emergency management training aims of all jurisdictions.
“In light of recent events in Canada, including those we have witnessed in British Columbia, it is important that all jurisdictions work together to improve emergency management across the country,” said Minister Day. “Today I am pleased to announce that we have agreed on an emergency management framework to guide our work and establish our priorities for moving forward.”
“Everyone understands the importance of reducing risks to Canadians and of planning before during and after emergencies. Ministers had extensive discussions on a number of key common priorities, including the importance of mitigation in advance of emergencies, public alerting at the beginning of an emergency and the necessary financial arrangements needed for recovery,” said Minister Les.
Ministers focused on improvements to the DFAA, and agreed that additional discussions are necessary regarding the type and nature of disasters covered under the current federal, provincial and territorial arrangements.
Ministers agreed to have further discussions regarding enhanced public alerting capabilities across the country and the potential for cooperation on disaster mitigation strategies. Ministers all agreed that too much time has elapsed since their last meeting in January 2005 and given recent emergency situations across the country, more meetings are required to ensure a coordinated approach to emergency management.
The next federal, provincial and territorial ministers meeting on emergency management is scheduled for January 2008.
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For further information:
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Stockwell Day
Minister of Public Safety
Public Affairs Bureau
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General