Minister Blair highlights Emergency Preparedness Week activities

News release

May 6, 2022
Ottawa, Ontario

As Canada’s natural, social, and technological landscape continues to evolve, strengthening the emergency preparedness and resilience of Canadians continues to be a priority for the Government of Canada.

Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, reflected on the first Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) in his new role. Minister Blair and Yasir Naqvi, Parliamentary Secretary launched the week with a video message to Canadians.

Emergency Preparedness Week is all about Canadians, highlighting how each and every one of us can do our part to be ready for anything. From instructions on how to build an emergency kit, to online resources detailing what to do in the event of a flood, fire, or storm, this week focused on giving people the tools they need to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

On May 3, Minister Blair addressed Masters of Emergency Management students at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia. In his remarks, the Minister emphasized that robust preparedness, response and recovery capabilities in Canada require strong collaboration between federal, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous partners and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). He also thanked them for their dedication in the field, and wished them the best in their future endeavours in the industry.

That same day, Yasir Naqvi, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council and Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, and Sameer Zuberi, Member of Parliament for Pierrefonds—Dollard, toured 2017 and 2019 flooding sites in Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Quebec and met with members of the community, business owners, volunteers, and municipal leaders. The Parliamentarians further provided an update on the government’s continued work to advance flood mitigation in Canada.

On May 4, Minister Blair was joined by organizational leaders from the Canadian Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC) and St. John Ambulance to announce $150 million for the Supporting a Humanitarian Workforce to Respond to COVID-19 and Other Large-Scale Emergencies (HWF) program. This funding will help support NGOs to build capacity, respond to emergencies, and keep communities safe.

Also on May 4, emergency test alerts were issued in participating provinces and territories across Canada over TV, radio and wireless phones. The National Public Alerting System is a critical public safety tool capable of delivering urgent and lifesaving warnings to the public in times of an emergency.

On May 5, Minister Blair visited the Cartier Square Drill Hall to speak with the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa. During the event, the Minister thanked members of the Canadian Armed Forces for their work responding to Requests for Assistance across the country and expressed his sincere gratitude for their service to Canadians.

Additionally, Minister Bibeau announced a $3 million investment into two agricultural projects that will help enhance emergency management in the sector, and develop risk assessments and strategies to mitigate disease outbreaks in animals.

To wrap up the week, Minister Blair and PS Naqvi addressed departmental officials at the Privy Council Office and Public Safety Canada to thank them for the work they do in the emergency management space, and for their dedication to making Canada safer and more resilient to emergencies each and every day.

Over the course of the week, emergency management organizations, volunteers, stakeholders, and Canadians joined the conversation online on what it means to be prepared for an emergency.

On behalf of the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Government of Canada, Minister Blair would like to express his gratitude and appreciation to all our first responders and those working in the field of emergency management. These brave people are there for Canadians each and every day, and have continued to step up for all of us in the face of a pandemic, historic fires, flooding, and every catastrophic event in between. Thank you. 

Quotes

“As Emergency Preparedness Week comes to a close, I want to thank everyone across the country who joined us in helping spread awareness on the importance of being ready for anything.  Together, all of us can do our part to be prepared for an emergency, helping keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities safe.”

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

“Each year, Emergency Preparedness Week provides us with an opportunity to reflect on how our actions can help reduce the impact of disasters and improve our overall resilience. The efforts and activities that have taken place this week highlight that with a little preparation, we can build community resilience and help to mitigate the impacts of emergencies.”

- Yasir Naqvi, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council and Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre

Quick facts

  • Emergency Preparedness Week is in its 27th year and happens annually the first week of May.

  • This week-long public education effort is led by Public Safety Canada in collaboration with partners at various orders of federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as Indigenous, non-governmental and private organizations.

  • This year’s theme is Emergency Preparedness: Be Ready for Anything. The theme encourages Canadians to take action to prepare for emergencies, stay informed, and to mitigate the potential negative impacts of emergencies on their household and community.

  • The Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award recognizes the incredible individuals and organizations who have dedicated their lives to emergency management whether as employees or volunteers. The nomination period for this award is open until July 1st, 2022.

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Contacts

Annie Cullinan
Press Secretary
Office of the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness
annie.cullinan@qpc-cpr.gc.ca

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada
613-991-0657
psmediarelations@ps-sp.gc.ca

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