OTTAWA, May 25, 2018 — Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers responsible for emergency management met today to discuss joint Canadian priorities and the progress made in that regard in Canada.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Honourable Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Alberta.
Ministers discussed the FPT Emergency Management Strategy of Canada, which will chart a course towards a more resilient future for Canadian society by 2030. Ministers instructed Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management to reconvene the Emergency Management Strategy Working Group to finalize the Strategy by the first week of July 2018. Ministers agreed that officials will accelerate the remaining consultations to ensure it reflects the views of their respective stakeholders so that Ministers are in a position to approve and release the Strategy as quickly as possible, hopefully by the end of the calendar year (December 2018).
To strengthen emergency preparedness communications in Canada, Ministers endorsed guiding considerations for the development of a potential Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) across the country. This secure high-speed wireless data communications network would support the work of first responders and public safety personnel in communicating with each other in emergency situations and during day-to-day operations. Acknowledging the benefits of a potential PSBN in Canada, Ministers also supported the establishment of a Temporary National Coordination Office in partnership with federal and provincial/territorial officials.
Ministers underscored the extensive collaboration among FPT governments, wireless services providers and other industry partners to expand the National Public Alerting System (NPAS) to include wireless alerting. They shared lessons learned following the first wireless public alert test messages issued during Emergency Preparedness Week. Ministers also endorsed the way forward to continue collaborative efforts to modernize and strengthen the NPAS governance.
Following a presentation by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) on flood insurance options, Ministers requested that IBC, in partnership with Public Safety Canada, continue to further refine options for managing the financial costs of high-risk properties (including drawing from international practices such as the UK model) and report to Ministers on progress in six months through the Advisory Council on Flooding.
Ministers committed to work closely together and asked their officials to seek more opportunities to share scientific knowledge, practices and methods with the Natural Resources Canada-led Flood Mapping Committee. It was also requested that Natural Resources Canada provide an update to Ministers on progress in six months through the Advisory Council on Flooding.
Other priorities discussed included Canada's contingency planning to prepare for potential influxes of irregular migrants and the recent launch of the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.
On May 24, in advance of the FPT Ministers' meeting, Minister Goodale hosted a meeting with representatives from National Indigenous Organizations, attended by provincial and territorial Ministers and the Honourable Jane Philpott, Canada's Minister of Indigenous Services, to discuss priorities and emergency preparedness challenges in their communities. A number of provincial and territorial Emergency Management Ministers continue to work with their local Indigenous organizations and communities.
On the evening of May 24th, a ceremony was held to honour the inaugural recipients of the Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award (EMESA). The award was launched in December 2017, following a commitment at the May 2017 FPT Ministers' meeting.
"My colleagues and I have made significant progress over the past year to strengthen emergency management in Canada. The work discussed today represents the culmination of significant collaboration and will continue to guide our common efforts to keep Canadian communities safe and make them more resilient."
"With more disasters happening on a larger scale, we need to all work together to have a coordinated approach to emergency management. There is a lot of great work happening in provinces, territories and municipalities across this country to make sure we have many tools and strategies in place to keep us on the path to safer, more resilient communities."
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Media Relations Office
Public Safety Canada
Alberta Municipal Affairs
*Ontario is not a party to this communiqué as it is in an election period.