Public alerting tests to take place in Quebec and Ontario on May 7

News release

Alerts to be distributed on compatible mobile devices and on television and radio

May 4, 2018 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

On May 7, test alerts will be sent to compatible LTE (long-term evolution)-connected mobile devices in Quebec and Ontario. These test alerts will also be distributed on television and radio in those provinces. 

May 7

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

Since April 6, 2018, all wireless service providers must distribute wireless public emergency alert messages on their LTE networks. The public alerting test is 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 messages will be identified as tests and will not require Canadians to take steps to secure their safety.

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

  • Wireless and broadcasting service providers will conduct a nationwide public alerting test during Emergency Preparedness Week.

  • 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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