Public alerting tests to be conducted in Canada on November 27

News release

November 22, 2019 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

On November 27, 2019, all provincial and territorial emergency management organizations will conduct public alerting tests in Canada, except for Nunavut. As such, test alerts will be distributed on TV, radio and compatible mobile device connected to a LTE (long-term evolution) wireless network in all provinces and territories, except for Nunavut.

Ongoing testing of the National Public Alerting System provides an opportunity for stakeholders to validate and improve the system’s performance and reliability to ensure it operates as intended 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:

November 27, 2019

  • Alberta 1:55 PM (MST)
  • British-Colombia 1:55 PM (PST)
  • Manitoba 1:55 PM (CST)
  • New-Brunswick 10:55 AM (AST)
  • Newfoundland & Labrador 10:55 AM (NST)
  • Northwest Territories 9:55 AM (MST)
  • Nova Scotia 1:55 PM (AST)
  • Nunavut *No test*
  • Ontario 2:55 PM (EST)
  • Prince Edward Island 12:55 PM (AST)
  • Quebec 1:55 PM (EST)
  • Saskatchewan 1:55 PM (CST)
  • Yukon 1:55 PM (PST)

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

  • connected to a LTE wireless network when the test alert is issued
  • 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, Canadians should visit Alert Ready.

Quick facts

  • Since January 2019, more than 125 emergency alert messages have been successfully transmitted by emergency management officials to warn Canadians of a potentially life-threatening situation. Emergency alerts have been credited with saving lives.

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

  • The National Public Alerting System involves various stakeholders:

    • Public Safety Canada is the lead federal 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 Inc. 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.
    • Radio, television and television service providers broadcast the messages.
    • Wireless service providers deliver alerts to wireless cellular devices.

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