Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers responsible for Justice


WINNIPEG , Manitoba, November 14, 2007 – Canada’s provincial justice ministers today approved wording of a new protocol on interjurisdictional AMBER Alerts that would give law enforcement agencies new tools to facilitate the safe return of an abducted child.

Ministers agreed Manitoba will approach provincial Amber Alert coordinators to seek their adoption of the protocol.

“There is no higher priority than the safety of our children, and justice ministers share a common commitment to protecting our most vulnerable citizens,” said Manitoba Attorney General Dave Chomiak. This new protocol would enable jurisdictions to more effectively work together to help a child in danger.

The AMBER Alert system is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies and broadcasters to issue emergency alerts to the public when a child has been abducted and it is believed the child’s life is in imminent danger. AMBER Alerts provide the public immediate and up-to-date information about an abducted child via widespread media broadcasts. The public’s help can often facilitate the safe return of an abducted child.

Provincial officials have worked toward establishing an interjurisdictional AMBER Alert protocol since Manitoba sought a commitment to establish a broader protocol at federal-provincial-territorial justice ministers’ meetings in 2005 and 2006.

Territorial Ministers are in agreement with the protocol and will work toward implementation should AMBER Alert programs be established in their jurisdictions.

The new protocol would establish a process and guidelines for dealing with AMBER Alert cases that cross provincial boundaries. The protocol would establish an official point of contact in each jurisdiction for dealing with interjurisdictional AMBER Alert requests and provides guidance on what should happen when the AMBER Alert activation criteria of neighbouring provinces differ.