GOC National Exercise Program

A comprehensive program of training and exercises is an important component of emergency management and ensures preparedness for the challenges of incidents of all types.

The Government Operations Centre (GOC) National Exercise Program strengthens emergency management capabilities and capacity across all jurisdictions and functions.

All levels of government, first responders, non-government and Indigenous organizations, as well as military officials work together to develop and deliver exercises. Exercises simulate emergency scenarios such as natural disasters, health threats and terrorist attacks to validate response plans and training, and identify areas for improvement.

The program is responsible for:

National Priority Exercise

The GOC National Exercise Program leads the delivery of the national priority exercise.

The national priority exercise focusses on a specific hazard and is delivered over a two-year period. It brings together federal, provincial, territorial and non-government organizations and authorities to design and deliver inter-related exercise activities, ending with a final cross-jurisdictional exercise. It improves emergency management preparedness through integrated all-hazards exercise activities supporting the national interest.

Exercise Coastal Response 2020-2023

Public Safety Canada and British Columbia’s Department of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness co-lead the federal-provincial whole-of-government earthquake exercise known as Coastal Response 2023 (CR23). The exercise, deemed the National Priority Exercise for the 2020-23 period took place February 7-9, 2023.

The aim of CR23 was to practice strategy, coordination, and communication through an integrated response to a catastrophic earthquake. The exercise scenario began 96 hours after an earthquake that causes significant damage to the Metro Vancouver area.

The exercise was coordinated from operations centres in Victoria and in Ottawa. It was an opportunity for all levels of government, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and community groups to test operational capabilities, evaluate policies and plans, familiarize personnel with roles and responsibilities, and foster meaningful interaction and communication.

Hundreds of people in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec participated in CR23, virtually and in person. Of the many organizations involved, there were:

The review of these exercises involves all partners. Its recommendations help improve future national exercises as well as preparedness planning and policies to benefit the emergency management system.

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