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Communiqué posting – Meeting of FPT Ministers Responsible for Emergency Management

Press Release

OTTAWA,  — Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) ministers responsible for emergency management met today to discuss progress made on shared emergency management priorities. The devastating wildfire, flooding and hurricane seasons, and telecommunications outage of the past year have demonstrated the need for all emergency management partners to bolster disaster resilience, emergency preparedness and response capabilities in Canada together.

The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Bill Blair, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Doyle Piwniuk, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure for Manitoba, and the Honourable Richard Mostyn, Minister of Community Services for Yukon.

Emergency Management Strategy and 2023-2024 Action Plan for Canada

Ministers discussed the Emergency Management Strategy for Canada and the development of the 2023-2024 Action Plan. They underscored the shared responsibility for emergency management and reviewed progress on advancing key actions outlined in the 2021-2022 Interim Action plan and efforts to better prepare, mitigate, respond and recover from the impacts of emergencies. Ministers agreed to continue to advance the work related to enhancing disaster response capacities, strengthening disaster recovery efforts as well as disaster prevention and mitigation. They reinforced the importance of emergency management collaboration and the continued engagement of their respective partners, including with Indigenous leadership.

National Public Alerting System

Ministers reiterated the importance of public alerting; a core public safety capability, which provides timely information to Canadians by warning the public of imminent or unfolding threats or hazards. Ministers discussed the FPT collaborative work to strengthen the overall use, sustainability, continuity of service and governance of the National Public Alerting System. Ministers instructed officials to explore alternative funding models and reiterated their desire to accelerate the work currently underway.

Public Safety Broadband Network

Ministers discussed the importance of advancing a Public Safety Broadband Network in Canada and reiterated their commitment to a coordinated pan-Canadian approach. They underscored the shared priority to develop a secure, interoperable and reliable telecommunications system, focused on the needs of provinces and territories and public safety-first responders. FPT Ministers agreed to advance the work related to a national network and discussed key next steps related to governance and priorities for moving forward on a Public Safety Broadband Network.

Task Force on Flood Insurance and Relocation

Ministers were briefed on the report from the Task Force on Flood Insurance and Relocation: Adapting to Rising Flood Risk: An Analysis of Insurance solutions for Canadians, which was released in August 2022. The Task Force mandate was to explore solutions for low-cost flood insurance for residents of high-risk areas and consider strategic relocation in areas at the highest risk of recurrent flooding. Ministers noted the importance of increasing efforts to reduce pan-Canadian flood risk. Ministers committed to continued FPT collaboration to further examine the options available to address the flood insurance gap across Canada, in addition to other measures to reduce overall flood risk for residents.

Review of the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements

Ministers were briefed on the progress of the ongoing review of the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program. They discussed some of the core findings to date, which highlighted the need for a greater focus on disaster risk reduction and adopting a more strategic approach to address the rising costs due to the increasing frequency and severity of climate-related disasters in Canada. Ministers noted the importance of being regularly informed and of continuing the FPT collaboration to advance the work related to improved disaster recovery programming, including meaningful provincial and territorial engagement and involvement in any potential changes to the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program.

Humanitarian Workforce

Ministers discussed the federal government’s Humanitarian Workforce program which supports the capacity building of four national non-government organizations (NGOs), namely the Canadian Red Cross, St. John Ambulance, Salvation Army and Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada. The program also provides funding for the deployment of surge resources for domestic emergency events such as COVID-19, floods and wildfires, in response to requests for federal assistance. The federal government will engage provinces, territories, Indigenous partners, and stakeholders on the need for a civilian response capacity.

On December 15, in a prior and separate meeting, FPT Ministers, accompanied by the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, met with leaders of National Indigenous Organizations, including the Regional Chief responsible for emergency management from the Assembly of First Nations, the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and President of the Métis National Council. Together, they shared their priorities and views on several important emergency management issues: flood resilience, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and strengthening emergency management capacity. They also reflected on past emergency events.

QUOTES

“As extreme weather events and natural disasters become more frequent and more severe than ever before, it is critical that we work collaboratively across all orders of government to bolster our resilience. We must draw upon lessons learned and develop plans to reduce the impacts on our communities as we work to strengthen emergency management in Canada.”

The Honourable Bill Blair
President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

“Canadians expect effective, coordinated responses to local emergencies. We meet that expectation with cooperative planning and strong government partnerships, especially with Indigenous communities and municipalities.”

Honourable Richard Mostyn
Minister of Community Services, Yukon

“The wildfires, floods and extreme snowfalls that have occurred in Manitoba in recent years, along with the changing climate, have shown the value in continuing to build our robust provincial emergency management system to keep Manitoba resilient and all Manitobans safe. The Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization will continue to focus on proactive measures to reduce future natural disaster impacts and increase the resiliency of our communities. We are committed to working with the federal government, Indigenous leadership and communities, and our counterparts in other jurisdictions to further advance preparedness and response solutions to make us all stronger in mitigating natural disasters.”

Honourable Doyle Piwniuk
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Manitoba

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CONTACTS
Joanna Monique Kanga Bissila
Press Secretary
Office of the President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness
[email protected]

Media Relations Office
Public Safety Canada
613-991-0657
[email protected]

Yukon
Julia Duchesne
Protective Services
867-332-4188
[email protected]

Manitoba
Miranda Dubé
Press Secretary
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
Government of Manitoba
[email protected]

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