Alberta’s NDP government has proposed amendments to the Emergency Management Act to help communities in the province better cope with disasters.
The move comes as the province has seen an increase in the number of natural disasters over the past 10 years.
“In the face of past disasters our first responders have shown courage and bravery and our municipalities have pulled together to respond.
“The best way to protect Albertans from disasters is to be sure all of us are better prepared,” said Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs Shaye Anderson.
The bill will be debated in the fall legislative session. In the meantime, the government plans to consult with Albertans about the proposed changes to the act.
“I look forward to consulting on these proposed changes with the emergency management community to ensure that all levels of government are working together to protect Albertans,” said Anderson.
One of the proposed changes would allow for the creation of a new Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation which would provide a clear process and direction for municipalities to follow in their emergency management planning.
The Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation would give additional direction to municipalities in regard to the training requirements for responders, local emergency management plans and will require the use of the Incident Command System in an emergency.
The regulation, if passed, will also promote regional collaboration in responding to an emergency.
Consultations on the proposed bill are scheduled to begin in June and will see the government seek feedback from stakeholders including first responders, municipal directors of emergency management, local elected officials, and Metis and First Nations communities.