Public alerting tests to be distributed in Canada on May 8, 2019

News release

May 3, 2019 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

On May 8, during Emergency Preparedness Week, provincial emergency management organizations will conduct public alerting tests in Canada. As such, test alerts should appear on every updated and compatible mobile device connected to a LTE (long-term evolution) wireless network in participating provinces and territories. The test alerts will be simultaneously distributed on radio and television.

Ongoing testing of the National Public Alerting System provides an opportunity to validate and improve the system’s performance and reliability to ensure it operates as intended on TV, radio and wireless networks in the event of a life-threatening situation.

The messages will be identified as test alerts and will not require Canadians to take action. They will be sent out according to the following schedule:

May 8, 2019    

Alberta                                        1:55 PM (MDT)

British-Colombia                       1:55 PM (PDT)

Manitoba                                    1:55 PM (CDT)

New-Brunswick                         10:55 AM (ADT)

Newfoundland & Labrador      10:55 AM (NDT)

Northwest Territories                1:55 PM (MDT)

Nova Scotia                                1:55 PM (ADT)

Nunavut                                      1:55 PM (EDT)

Ontario                                        No test due to flooding

Quebec                                       No test due to flooding

Prince Edward Island                12:55 PM (ADT)

Saskatchewan                            1:55 PM (CST)

Yukon                                          1:55 PM (PDT)

For a wireless device to receive a test alert, it must be:

  • Connected to a LTE wireless network when the test alert is issued (LTE is commonly referred to as “4G LTE”) ;
  • Wireless public alerting compatible; and
  • Equipped with the latest version of its operating software.

If a mobile device meets these conditions and did not receive the test, Canadians should contact their wireless service provider.

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

Quick facts

  • Provincial authorities in Ontario and Quebec will not be issuing a test due to the on-going flooding situation being experienced in those areas.

  • Since the implementation of wireless public alerting in April 2018, more than 120 alerts and updates have been successfully delivered by emergency management officials to warn Canadians of imminent threats.

  • All devices sold by wireless service providers after April 6, 2019 must be compatible with wireless public alerting, as per a CRTC target.

  • The National Public Alerting System involves various stakeholders:

    • 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.
    • Emergency alert messages are issued by federal, provincial and territorial governments as well as designated emergency management officials to warn the public of imminent threats, such as fires, tornadoes, floods and Amber Alerts.
    • Provincial officials are responsible for issuing scheduled test messages.
    • Pelmorex operates the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System, which disseminates alerts to broadcasters and wireless services providers.
    • The CRTC regulates the broadcasting and telecommunications service providers that distribute emergency alerts to the public.

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