ARCHIVED - Public Safety Minister Toews Congratulates District of North Vancouver on United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction

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First ever Canadian community to be recognized with award

OTTAWA, May 16, 2011 – The Honourable Vic Toews, Canada's Minister of Public Safety, made the following statement congratulating the District of North Vancouver on receiving the United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction.  Last week the District of North Vancouver became the first community in Canada to ever be recognized with this award during the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva, Switzerland. The biennially awarded honour will be shared with two other communities, San Francisco, Philippines and Santa Fe, Argentina.

“Our government is delighted that the District of North Vancouver is the first Canadian community to be recognized with this award,” said Minister Toews. “It is clear that North Vancouver is setting a high standard for communities across Canada, and has become a model among Canadian communities at engaging municipal and federal governments and the private sector in the promotion of a resilient approach to disaster risk reduction. As a result of their outstanding commitment, North Vancouver is being recognized internationally for building a safer, resilient community.”

On October 26, 2010, the Government of Canada announced Canada's Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, to better protect Canadians in the event of a disaster. This is one of many ways the federal government assists the provinces by helping Canadians mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and non-natural disasters.  Others include the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements, the National Disaster Mitigation Strategy, the National Strategy and Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure, Joint Emergency Preparedness Program, the Federal Emergency Response Plan, and the National Emergency Response Plan.

Recently, the Government of Canada also released its updated Earthquake Guide as British Columbians prepared for a province-wide earthquake drill. The Drill allowed British Columbians to learn more about the earthquake hazard in their province, and encourage proactive thinking about emergency preparedness.

“This international recognition is evidence of the ongoing work being done by not only the professional staff who serve the citizens of North Vancouver District but also the leaders and many volunteers of the North Shore Emergency Management Office, and all of the agencies dedicated to  the public safety needs of their community,” said North Vancouver District Mayor Richard Walton. “This United Nations acknowledgement is something our entire community can take pride in. The work, however, is ongoing as we continue to seek best practices and learn from the experience of communities around the world.”

For more information on to prepare for emergencies, or for other safety-related information visit: and follow @Get_Prepared on Twitter.


Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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