The Emergency Management Act provides the legislative framework for local and provincial management of emergencies and disasters.
Independent reports that reviewed response efforts to major disasters over the last 10 years recognized a need for updated legislation to help keep Albertans safe.
During the summer of 2018, the government engaged with 92 municipalities and 5 organizations to gather feedback that helped clarify language and update requirements in the Emergency Management Act, and inform the development of the Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation.
Emergency Management Amendment Act
Bill 9, the Emergency Management Amendment Act came into effect on March 20, 2020 to address the growing need for local and provincial states of emergencies to exist concurrently during emergencies and disasters.
Changes now provide clarity and improve the coordination of local and provincial response efforts in the event of emergencies and disasters, including wildfires, floods and pandemics.
Prior to the amendment, the provincial government took charge of a local authority’s response activities as soon as a provincial state of emergency was declared. In order for municipalities to deal effectively with their individual situations, they need the power as a local authority to direct and control their response efforts, as well as work with the province. This also helps the province respond to multiple emergencies simultaneously by freeing up resources.
Additional amendments were made through Bill 13, the Emergency Management Amendment Act, on May 12, 2020 to address concerns and suggestions raised by municipal stakeholders. These amendments will help the province effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The additional amendments include:
- Allowing states of local emergency for pandemics to last for 90 days.
- Providing clear language that it is an offence to be non-compliant with orders made under states of local or provincial emergency.
- Clarifying that the minister has the power to modify a state of local emergency without terminating it.
- Clarifying that a provincially declared state of emergency can be for a pandemic in general, and not just for pandemic influenza.
Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation
The regulation provides direction on emergency management roles and responsibilities. Also the requirements of municipalities to plan and prepare for the safety of their community.
To give municipalities sufficient time to work towards implementation, it will not come into force until January 1, 2020. The regulation will ensure that:
- municipalities have up-to-date emergency plans and programs that are regularly reviewed and exercised
- elected officials and municipal employees are trained for their roles and understand their responsibilities
- responsibilities and functions of municipal emergency advisory committees and emergency management agencies are clear
- regional collaboration agreements with other municipalities are clear
For more information, read the Frequently Asked Questions and the Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation Summary.
Detailed information about the training required by the regulation is available on the Emergency training courses page.
In accordance with section 3(3) of the Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation, the Managing Director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency has prescribed that the command, control, and coordination system that will be used in local authority’s emergency management agencies shall be the Incident Command System (ICS), as set out in the ICS Canada Operational Description (PDF, 535 KB). The implementation of ICS will be reflected through the bylaws and emergency management plans for each local authority, which will demonstrate how ICS will be used.
As local authorities work towards fulfilling the training requirements that are established by the Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation, comparable non-ICS Canada training certificates that have been issued prior to January 1, 2020 will be considered Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation compliant.
Non-ICS Canada issued training certificates, awarded after January 1, 2020, will not be considered Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation compliant. It should be noted that nothing in this prescription alters or affects the required training pre-requisites for ICS Canada courses or training progression parameters; policy respecting course pre-requisites is established and maintained ICS Canada.
Connect with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency:
Alberta Emergency Management Agency
14515 122 Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5L 2W4