Chronology: National Public Alerting in Canada

Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) governments in Canada, through the Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management (SOREM) forum, have been working toward an expanded National Public Alerting System (NPAS) for many years.

2007: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a public notice that it would remove regulatory barriers to alert services and take a voluntary approach for radio and television broadcasters toward distribution of public alerts.

2009: The CRTC approved an application made by Pelmorex Corp, owner of the Weather Network / MétéoMédia television channels, to launch the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination (NAAD) System.

Subsequent to this decision, FPT governments decided to work with Pelmorex and private sector broadcasters to address the actions required to make the NAAD System operational.

2010: The NAAD System was officially launched, and became the technical infrastructure for Canada’s NPAS initiative.

Environment and Climate Change Canada and all 13 provinces/territories have completed user agreements to issue or accept emergency alerts via their Emergency Management Organizations through the NAAD System.

2014: The CRTC issued regulatory amendments mandating television and radio broadcasters, cable and satellite companies to distribute NPAS emergency public alerts.

The beginning of the Wireless Public Alerting System (WPAS), a three year pilot project led by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, in partnership with Defence Research Development Canada and Public Safety Canada through the Canadian Safety and Security Program.  The WPAS aimed to develop and demonstrate effective solution for emergency wireless public alerting using LTE-based technology.

2015:  In conjunction with the resulting widespread participation of broadcasters in NPAS, Pelmorex launched a public awareness and education campaign about Canada’s new emergency alerting service through television and radio, which was branded Alert Ready. Alert Ready is the public-facing brand name for the NPAS initiative.

2017: Successful completion of the WPAS pilot project.

In an effort to continue to expand and modernize the NPAS to meet the needs of Canadians, in April, the CRTC, following consultations with key stakeholders and the public, also mandated wireless service providers to implement the NPAS on their Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless networks by April 2018.

2018:  FPT governments, Pelmorex and wireless service providers  have worked collaboratively to meet the requirements of the CRTC regulatory order to provide authorized government agencies with the ability to alert Canadians on compatible wireless devices about imminent threats to their lives or safety. Each alerting authority will start using this expanded functionality as it builds the capacity to do so.

Pelmorex, working with Public Safety Canada and PTs launched a wireless public alerting awareness campaign building on the success of the ongoing Alert Ready campaign. This campaign aims to ensure that Canadians are informed about wireless public alerting and know what to do when they receive an alert on their wireless devices.

2019: The CRTC approves an application by FPT governments to conduct provincial / territorial public awareness tests twice annually, during May Emergency Preparedness week, and the month of November.

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