Public alerting tests to take place during Emergency Preparedness Week

News release

On May 7 and May 9, 2018, test alerts will be distributed in Canada on compatible mobile devices and on television and radio

April 30th, 2018 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

Wireless and broadcasting service providers will conduct a nationwide public alerting test during Emergency Preparedness Week, which is from May 6 to 12. During this process, every compatible mobile device connected to an LTE (long-term evolution) network in the targeted provinces and territory will receive the test alert. These will also be distributed on television and radio in the same regions.

Since April 6, 2018, all wireless service providers must distribute public emergency alert messages on their LTE networks. The public alerting tests are an opportunity for Canadians to become familiar with how public alert messages will be delivered to their mobile devices, including the tone and vibration cadence that will distinguish them from regular text messages.

The alert messages will be identified as tests and will not require Canadians to take steps to secure their safety.

The tests will be carried out according to the following schedule:

May 7th

  • Ontario 1:55 PM (EDT)
  • Quebec 9:55 AM (EDT)

May 9th

  • Yukon 1:30 PM (PST)
  • Northwest Territories 1:55 PM (MDT)
  • Alberta 1:55 PM (MDT)
  • British-Colombia 1:55 PM (PDT)
  • Saskatchewan 1:55 PM (CST)
  • Manitoba 1:55 PM (CDT)
  • Newfoundland & Labrador 1:55 PM (NDT)
  • Nova Scotia 1:55 PM (ADT)
  • Prince Edward Island 1:55 PM (ADT)
  • New-Brunswick 6:55 PM (ADT)

To learn more about test alerts and to find out if a cellphone is capable of receiving emergency alerts, Canadians can visit Alert Ready.


Quick facts

  • Test alerts are conducted to ensure that the alerting system is functional, and to create awareness of national public alerting system among Canadians.

  • Canadians may be required to acknowledge receipt of the emergency alert in order to allow for their wireless device to resume normal functioning. In the event that they cannot acknowledge the alert, the alert sound and vibration will continue for 8 seconds.

  • Emergency alert messages are issued by federal, provincial and territorial governments and emergency management officials to warn the public of imminent threats, such as fires, tornadoes, floods, water contamination and Amber Alerts.

  • These officials are also responsible for issuing scheduled test messages.

  • Public Safety Canada is the lead department responsible for emergency management and coordinates the development of policies for public alerting with federal, provincial and territorial stakeholders.

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In Canada, toll-free: 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
Outside Canada: 819-997-0313

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Outside Canada: 819-994-0423

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