The amendments were developed in consultation with the cities of Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer, and will help the province effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Proposed amendments to the Emergency Management Act include:
- Allowing states of local emergency 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 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.
“Our province is facing a truly unprecedented situation. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, so does the need to strengthen our response efforts. This includes listening to our municipal partners and making amendments to the Emergency Management Act that work for both local and provincial governments. We are all in this together, and we must work together to protect Albertans.”
The Emergency Management Act was amended on March 20 to allow local and provincial states of emergency to exist at the same time, helping communities and the province effectively respond to disasters.
Prior to the amendment, a provincial state of emergency nullified a local state of emergency, taking some powers away from local officials.