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Alberta Amends Emergency Management Act

By Todd Westcott 09:37AM December 06, 2018

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Alberta’s Emergency Management Amendment Act is now in effect, improving the ability of the province’s communities to develop and refine their emergency management plans and programs.

“We have all seen the number and severity of disasters increase over the years—and every time a major event happens, we learn from it,” said Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “By updating our legislation, we are applying what we have learned and are working with municipalities to help them better prepare for disasters and keep Albertans safe.”

emergency management
Alberta emergency management partners set up a temporary dam during a training exercise in spring 2018. Image and caption credit: Government of Alberta.

Changes to the Act also allow for the addition of the Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation.

The regulation will come into force January 1st, 2020 to give municipalities sufficient time to implement. The regulation will ensure:

  • Municipalities have up-to-date emergency plans and programs that are regularly reviewed and exercised.
  • Elected officials and municipal employees are trained for their roles and understand their responsibilities.
  • Responsibilities and functions of municipal emergency advisory committees and emergency management agencies are clear.
  • Regional collaboration agreements with other municipalities are clear.

“The update to the Emergency Management Act and addition of the Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation not only demonstrates the importance of emergency management in Alberta, but also supports all municipalities by providing a clear and objective set of requirements to assist in ensuring we continually strive to improve our internal processes,” said Merrick Brown, director, Health, Safety, Environment & Emergency Management, City of Medicine Hat.

Over the summer, the provincial government engaged with 92 municipalities and five organizations to gather input that helped inform the new regulation. First responders, local elected officials, municipal directors of emergency management, Metis Settlements and First Nations all participated in the discussions. The resulting feedback has been issued in a report that is now available online.

The Emergency Management Amendment Act was introduced in April 2018. It was passed on November 1st and came into force on November 19th. Minister Anderson announced the amendments and the addition of the regulation at the Alberta Emergency Management Agency Summit on December 5th.

Alberta’s Emergency Management Act supports municipalities working to reduce or mitigate flood hazards.

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