EDMONTON — Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers responsible for emergency management met yesterday and today to release the first ever Emergency Management Strategy (EM) for Canada and to discuss progress made on a number of shared priorities in emergency management in Canada.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Canada’ Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Honourable Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Alberta.
Delivering on a commitment from the previous meeting of FPT Ministers in May 2018, Ministers formally approved and released the Emergency Management Strategy for Canada: Toward a Resilient 2030. This strategy is the culmination of more than two years of work and reflects engagement with federal, provincial and territorial partners and stakeholders. The strategy supports a whole-of-society approach to EM, outlines key priority areas to build a more resilient Canadian society by 2030, and aligns with the United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Ultimately, it provides a roadmap to strengthen Canada’ ability to better prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. To implement the EM Strategy, Ministers tasked Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management to develop an FPT Action Plan to outline how each jurisdiction, in collaboration with their respective EM partners will advance each of the priority areas over the next five years, and to report back on progress at the next FPT Ministers’ meeting.
As requested by Ministers in 2018, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), under the guidance of the Advisory Council on Flooding and their respective working groups, provided an update on their work on managing flood risk in Canada. Ministers invited IBC to continue to work with FPT officials, through the Advisory Council on Flooding, to finalize its analysis, including defining high risk properties and modelling the costs for different high risk insurance pool models. Following this, a more detailed discussion will take place with FPT Ministers. Ministers also discussed ongoing work, led by NRCan, on the development of an accessible public information tool that would help Canadians inform themselves of their personal flood risk, and noted an interest in increasing information and data-sharing among all levels of government and the private sector. Ministers agreed officials from Public Safety Canada and Natural Resources Canada would work together to jointly host a national symposium in Spring 2019 for FPT officials to hear from private sector experts and academia, and discuss best practices related to flood mapping, data and science.
Ministers reiterated their commitment to build a strong public alerting system in Canada. Following a presentation on the second national public alerting test on November 28th, Ministers underscored its success and the importance of continued testing to deliver an efficient, modern and life-saving system. Further, Ministers agreed to work collaboratively to strengthen the National Public Alerting System, including working with industry partners to improve governance of the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System, as well as public awareness and education.
Ministers also received updates on the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund and the Saskatchewan Emergency Management Volunteers pilot project, which provided insight into possible opportunities for improved integration of trained volunteers into the Canadian EM system.
On January 24, in advance of the FPT Ministers’ meeting, Minister Goodale hosted a meeting with Indigenous representatives and provincial and territorial Ministers.
Ministers also launched the next call for nominations for the Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award (EMESA),which recognizes recipients who have achieved excellence in the emergency management and search and rescue fields
“My colleagues and I are pleased to release the Emergency Management Strategy for Canada. This first-ever shared FPT vision for strong, resilient Canadian communities calls for strengthened collaboration among all partners in emergency management – all orders of governments, civil society and Indigenous communities. Together, by 2030 we will build a Canada that is better equipped to predict, prepare for, respond to, and recover from all hazards.”
- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Canada’ Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“With the reality of disasters becoming more frequent and severe, we need to continue working together across borders and at every level of government to keep Canadians safe. The new Emergency Management Strategy released today provides a great road map to build strength and resiliency of our communities, including our Indigenous and Métis communities.”
- The Honourable Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Minister responsible for the Alberta Emergency Management Agency