Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Emergency Management Strategy Interim Action Plan 2021-22

Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Emergency Management Strategy Interim Action Plan 2021-22 PDF (378 Kb)

A message from the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for Emergency Management

We are pleased to release the 2021-22 Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Emergency Management Strategy Interim Action Plan. This Interim Action Plan is the product of ongoing collaborative efforts across Federal-Provincial-Territorial governments at a challenging time. It also builds upon work that has laid the foundation for stronger emergency management across Canada.

As we have seen, the lives of people across Canada and across the world have been profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent emergency events. This past year’s devastating wildfire and flooding seasons have highlighted that urgent action is needed to address the increasing frequency and severity of disaster events and the impacts of climate change. While these situations continue to challenge all of us, they have also reinforced that we are stronger when we work together while respecting the roles and responsibilities of each government. They have also reinforced the value of an emergency management approach focused on whole of society engagement.

In 2019, Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for Emergency Management endorsed Canada’s Emergency Management Strategy for Canada: Toward a Resilient 2030.This first-ever shared Federal-Provincial-Territorial vision for strong, resilient communities called for strengthened collaboration among all partners in emergency management – all orders of governments, civil society and Indigenous communities. This Interim Emergency Management Strategy Action Plan builds off of the momentum created by the Strategy and details shared priorities and activities across all four pillars of emergency management: prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Indigenous communities are among those most impacted by emergencies due to their remote and coastal locations, insufficient access to emergency services, and their dependence on natural ecosystems. The Emergency Management Strategy therefore commits the federal, provincial and territorial governments within their areas of responsibility to provide Indigenous Peoples and their communities with the capacity to integrate traditional knowledge and public awareness and education programs into emergency management and disaster risk reduction. To this end, governments will establish a dialogue with Indigenous Peoples with respect to their emergency management needs and in setting emergency management priorities.

This 2021-2022 Interim Action Plan sets the stage for future plans which will be built on sustained dialogue, active participation and ongoing discussions among all partners. Together, we will continue to advance new approaches to strengthen emergency management and resilience for all.

As partners in emergency management, we are committed to taking strong action to prepare for future emergencies, including extreme weather events caused by climate change, focusing on proactive prevention/mitigation efforts while ensuring robust response and recovery capabilities. Together, by 2030 we will be better equipped to predict, prepare for, respond to, and recover from all hazards.

 

 

On behalf of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for Emergency Management

The Honourable Bill Blair, P.C., C.O.M., M.P.
President of the Queen’s Privy Council and Minister of Emergency Preparedness
Government of Canada

 

The Honourable Mike Farnworth
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Government of British Columbia

 

The Honourable Richard Mostyn
Minister of Community Services and
Minister responsible for the Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board
Government of Yukon

 

Emergency Management Strategy for Canada

A Path to Resilience

The Emergency Management Strategy for Canada (EM Strategy) establishes priorities and aligns the efforts of Federal, Provincial, and Territorial (FPT) governments through an all-hazards, whole-of-society approach to Emergency Management (EM). It aims to strengthen Canada’s overall resilience to disasters by 2030 through five priority areas of activity:

  1. Enhance whole-of-society collaboration and governance to strengthen resilience;
  2. Improve understanding of disaster risks in all sectors of society;
  3. Increase focus on whole-of-society disaster prevention and mitigation activities;
  4. Enhance disaster response capacity and coordination and foster the development of new capabilities; and,
  5. Strengthen recovery efforts by building back better to minimize the impacts of future disasters.

Each priority area has corresponding foundational objectives and priority outcomes to help set medium-term goals and demonstrate progress. These priorities provide FPT governments with the flexibility to advance the objectives of the EM Strategy in a variety of ways and in a manner that reflects their respective priorities.

Development of the FPT Action Plan

From Strategy to Action

In order to deliver on EM Strategy, FPT Ministers Responsible for Emergency Management instructed Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management (SOREM) to develop and advance a FPT Action Plan that addresses each of the five EM Strategy priority areas. SOREM represents the collection of FPT government organizations who lead emergency management efforts on behalf of their respective government.

The adoption of a whole-of-society approach seeks to leverage existing knowledge, experience and capabilities within EM partners, including those of Indigenous organizations and communities. The EM Strategy commits FPT governments, within their areas of responsibilities, to empower communities and Indigenous peoples with the ability to integrate traditional knowledge, awareness and education programs into broader EM and disaster risk reduction. FPT governments have worked together to ensure that these perspectives are interwoven throughout the five Strategic Actions.

This Interim Action Plan has been created to advance defined outcomes within the EM Strategy, and to demonstrate concrete steps that FPT governments, and respective EM Partners, intend to take to advance resilience to disasters. The five Strategic Actions identified for 2021-2022 are:


  1. Continued FPT Government Engagement to Ensure Strong Pan-Canadian Cohesion for Emergency Management
  2. Improve Pan-Canadian Understanding of Disaster Risk
  3. Reduce Pan-Canadian Flood Risk
  4. Advance Emergency Communications across Canada
  5. Advance Efforts for Improved Disaster Recovery Programming

This Interim Action Plan was intended to be released in 2020, however, due to priority efforts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic response, Action Plan activities were deferred to 2021-2022. Going forward, the Action Plan will adopt a two year cycle, and be reviewed on a biennial basis by SOREM. The next FPT Action Plan will span from 2022 to 2024.

Priority Area of Activity 1

Enhance whole-of-society collaboration and governance to strengthen resilience

Strategic Action

Continued FPT Government Engagement to Ensure Strong Pan-Canadian Cohesion for Emergency Management

FPT Action Plan Activities

Purpose of this Strategic Action

Continued FPT governance and collaboration amongst FPT partners is a critical overarching step to strengthen resilience in Canada. It is crucial that FPT governments have defined roles and responsibilities in EM and that each order of government is able to properly convey information across all levels. Ensuring structured FPT governance and collaboration will improve communication and cohesion across the country when working to mitigate/prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

Measuring Success (Outcomes)

2021-22 FPT Action Plan Outcome(s):

Cohesion within the FPT EM system continues to be strengthened through various FPT efforts, including:

Overall EM Strategy FPT Priority Outcome to 2030:

Priority Area of Activity 2

Improve understanding of disaster risks in all sectors of society

Strategic Action

Improve Pan-Canadian Understanding of Disaster Risk

FPT Action Plan Activities

Purpose of this Strategic Action

Gaining a better understanding of disaster risk within Canada helps inform prioritization of EM efforts, both in terms of proactive reduction of that risk (prevention/mitigation) and in readying jurisdictions to prepare, respond and recover from potential disasters. This action will focus on activities to support improved disaster risk and capability knowledge, information sharing, and decision-making.

Measuring Success (Outcomes)

2021-22 FPT Action Plan Outcome(s):

Overall EM Strategy FPT Priority Outcome to 2030:

Priority Area of Activity 3

Increase focus on whole-of-society disaster prevention and mitigation activities

Strategic Action

Reduce Pan-Canadian Flood Risk

FPT Action Plan Activities

Purpose of this Strategic Action

Flood risk remains the most costly hazard – this Strategic Action aims to take a multi-pronged approach to reduce this risk. Existing efforts are underway, including examination of a national low-cost flood insurance program and potential relocation of high risk properties. Spring 2022 recommendations will inform options for potential pan-Canadian implementation. These collaborative FPT activities support multiple EM Strategy outcomes, including advancing risk knowledge, increasing preparedness, and improved recovery/build back better.

Measuring Success (Outcomes)

2021-22 FPT Action Plan Outcome(s):

Overall EM Strategy FPT Priority Outcome to 2030:

Priority Area of Activity 4

Enhance disaster response capacity and coordination and foster the development of new capabilities

Strategic Action

Advance Emergency Communications across Canada

FPT Action Plan Activities

Purpose of this Strategic Action

Recent EM events have underscored the gaps in communications between FPT governments and their citizens, highlighting the continued need for advancing national communications for EM. This Interim Action Plan advances key components of pan-Canadian EM communications, through ongoing work to enhance the NPAS and advance a future PSBN in Canada.

Measuring Success (Outcomes)

2021-22 FPT Action Plan Outcome(s):

Overall EM Strategy FPT Priority Outcome to 2030:

Priority Area of Activity 5

Strengthen recovery efforts by building back better to minimize the impacts of future disasters

Strategic Action

Advance Efforts for Improved Disaster Recovery Programming

FPT Action Plan Activities

Purpose of this Strategic Action

Acknowledging the significant growth in disaster risk and disaster losses, particularly since the early 1990s, recovery mechanisms need to be examined in support of a sustainable EM system. This can be achieved, in part, through work already underway such as the DFAA review panel and the Flood Insurance and Relocation Project (FIRP) Task Force.

Measuring Success (Outcomes)

2021-22 FPT Action Plan Outcome(s):

Overall EM Strategy FPT Priority Outcome to 2030:

2021-22 FPT EM Strategy Interim Action Plan

Towards Implementation

The Strategic Actions established within this Interim Action Plan were agreed upon by FPT governments, recognizing that all jurisdictions have been and will continue to work around the confines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The priorities established through this Action Plan do not preclude provincial and territorial governments from prioritizing emergency management activities within their respective jurisdictions. The five Strategic Actions are purposefully tied to the five priority areas of the EM Strategy to meet FPT foundational objectives for emergency management in Canada, recognizing that governance and collaboration are embedded through all FPT EM efforts.

Working Together

This structured approach increases FPT cohesiveness and accountability in advancing the EM Strategy. Over the next year, FPT governments will work together to strengthen EM capabilities and are committed to carrying out the FPT contributing actions in order to advance the EM Strategy for a more resilient Canada. An FPT EM Strategy Action Plan Working Group was reconvened in 2021. This working group is made up of delegates from across FPT governments, enabling shared FPT participation for advancing this Action Plan, with direct oversight by SOREM, as FPT governments work to advance the implementation of the EM Strategy towards 2030. This Interim Action Plan was endorsed by both FPT Deputy Ministers and FPT Ministers for Emergency Management.

Improved Alignment and Cohesion

The FPT EM Strategy, and underpinning Action Plan, have embraced Capability-Based Planning (CBP) to increase cohesion throughout EM systems in Canada and moves towards an evidence-informed process for reducing risk and building resilience. This approach respects jurisdictional boundaries while increasing interoperability and supporting a more integrated planning approach to EM priorities within Canada. It advances a common process and framework for measuring, coordinating, and mobilizing resources. CBP groups functions and related resources by “capabilities” which support shared EM outcomes across the entire EM lifecycle (prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery).

CBP enables FPT Governments to structure EM work around the principles of the Emergency Management Framework for Canada (all-hazards, risk-based, coherency of action, continuous improvement) and provides a common, rigorous, rational basis for future investments to fill identified capability gaps. In addition, it promotes working across FPT Governments to focus on common outcomes and results, taking a broad view of the EM system to see capabilities that exist across agencies and the FPT orders of government.

A list of 38 EM capabilities to support an interoperable Emergency Management System in Canada has been developed by FPT governments, based on best-practices from other countries that have adopted CBP for EM, as well as through engagement with FPT EM Stakeholders from across Canada. Each capability contributes to FPT governments’ ability to deliver on one, or more, of the priority areas outlined in the EM Strategy.

Conclusion

Striving for increased resilience by 2030

The FPT EM Strategy Action Plan drives forward the FPT governments’ vision of strengthening EM capabilities to prevent/mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters, in order to reduce disaster risk and increase the resiliency of all individuals and communities. Despite a large contingent of FPT resources being dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic, FPT governments will work to meet their collective commitment to the EM Strategy through the five Strategic Actions outlined in this Interim Action Plan for 2021-22. SOREM will continue to monitor the implementation of this Interim Action Plan, while the FPT EM Strategy Action Plan Working Group will begin to construct the EM Strategy Action Plan for 2022-24, advancing the EM Strategy and pushing Canada’s EM systems down the path toward a more resilient future by 2030.

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