Provincial Emergency Response Plan 2019
PROVINCIAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN 2019
Provincial Emergency Response Plan 2019
Office of the Fire Marshal & Emergency Management
Ministry of the Solicitor General
- Document history
- Publications management
- Executive summary
- 1. Introduction, background, and authorities
- 1.1. An overview of the provincial role in emergencies
- 1.2. The Provincial Emergency Response Plan
- 1.3. Communities in Ontario
- 1.4. Emergency management in Ontario
- 1.5. Glossary and acronyms
- 1.6. PERP reviews and revisions
- 2. Purpose and scope
- 2.1. Aim
- 2.2. Plan goals
- 2.3. Scope
- 2.4. Plan implementation
- 2.5. Assumptions
- 2.6. Hierarchy of documents
- 2.7. Links with other plans
- 2.7.1. Provincial Emergency Response Plan
- 2.7.2. Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan
- 2.7.3. Ministry emergency plans
- 2.7.4. Other plans as directed by the Solicitor General
- 2.7.5. Municipal emergency response plans
- 2.7.6. Unincorporated community emergency plans
- 2.7.7. First Nations emergency management plans
- 3. Planning basis
- 3.1. Application of the components of emergency management
- 3.2. Planning area definition
- 3.3. Characteristics of an emergency
- 3.4. Hazard identification and risk assessment
- 3.5. Resilience
- 4. Concept of operations
- 4.1. Overview
- 4.2. The graduated approach to emergency response
- 4.3. Coordination
- 4.4. Information management
- 4.5. Priorities
- 4.6. Equitable service
- 4.7. Declaration of an emergency
- 4.8. Improvement Planning
- 5. The provincial emergency response organization
- 5.1. Overview
- 5.2. The Incident Management System
- 5.3. Organizational chart
- 5.4. Provincial oversight
- 5.5. The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre
- 5.6. Ministry emergency operations centres and ministry action groups
- 5.7. Federal government
- 5.8. Municipal emergency operations centres and emergency control groups
- 5.9. First Nations
- 5.10. Unincorporated communities
- 5.11. Other supporting organizations
- 6. Emergency response and recovery activities
- 6.1. Operational phases
- 6.2. Ministry emergency response
- 6.3. Public alerting
- 6.4. Monitoring and notification
- 6.5. Activation
- 6.6. Declarations of emergency
- 6.7. Requests for assistance
- 6.8. Coordination
- 6.9. Information management and situational awareness
- 6.10. Information technology, telecommunications and security
- 6.11. Donations management
- 6.12. Damage assessment
- 6.13. Volunteer management
- 6.14. Protection and care of animals
- 6.15. Emergency public information
- 6.16. Continuity of operations
- 6.17. Finances
- 7. Plan administration and maintenance
- Appendix A Acronyms and abbreviations
- Appendix B Emergency management glossary
- Appendix C Order in Council 1157/2009 emergency type responsibilities
- Appendix D Relevant legislation and authorities
- D.1 Federal
- D.2 Provincial
- D.3 Municipal
- D.4 Application of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act
- Appendix E Processes for provincial declarations of emergency and orders
- Appendix F Provincial Emergency Operations Centre section responsibilities
- Appendix G Ministry emergency response responsibilities
- G.1 General
- G.2 MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS
- G.3 ATTORNEY GENERAL
- G.4 MINISTER OF CHILDREN, COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICES
- G.5 SOLICITOR GENERAL
- G.6 MINISTER OF ENERGY, NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT AND MINES
- G.7 MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS
- G.8 MINISTER OF HEALTH AND MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE
- G.9 MINISTER OF LABOUR
- G.10 MINISTER OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS AND HOUSING
- G.11 MINISTER OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND FORESTRY
- G.12 MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION
- G.13 PRESIDENT OF THE TREASURY BOARD
- Appendix H Municipal emergency response and recovery responsibilities
- End Notes
- Figure 2-1: EM document hierarchy
- Figure 2-2: Ontario’s emergency plans structure and relationships
- Figure 4-1: The graduated approach to emergency management
- Figure 4-2: The phases of information management
- Figure 5-1: Provincial ERO Organizational Chart
- Figure 6-1: Operational Phases
- Figure 6-2: Provincial response levels
- Figure 6-3: PEOC Information Products
- Figure F-1: PEOC Organizational Chart
This is version 1.0 of the 2019 Provincial Emergency Response Plan.
This version replaces the version last published in 2008.
Amendments to the current version can occur at any time. These will be recorded in the following table:
|Revision Number||Description of change||Date of Publication|
|1.0||Initial publication of 2019 version||December 29, 2020|
In accordance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, the Provincial Emergency Response Plan is available to the public on the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management’s website.
Copies of the Provincial Emergency Response Plan are to be widely distributed among the emergency management community. Organizations that keep hard or digital copies of this document as a resource for their emergency operations are responsible for ensuring that they have the most up-to-date version of the document.
This publication is subject to review and amendments. This process is the responsibility of the office of the Chief, Emergency Management Ontario. Stakeholders are encouraged to review and evaluate this plan as they use it and to submit comments and suggestions.
Amendments may be published from time to time. The version control form in this section will be used to keep a record of approved amendments.
To make comments and suggestions relating to the Provincial Emergency Response Plan, or to request it in a different format, please contact:Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management
Attn: Program Manager, Planning and Exercises
Ref: Provincial Emergency Response Plan
25 Morton Shulman Avenue, Toronto, ON, M3M 0B1, Canada
While Ontario is a safe place to live and work, emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. Ontario’s Solicitor General, through the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, is responsible for ensuring that the provincial response to an emergency is effectively coordinated.
The Provincial Emergency Response Plan (PERP) describes how the province coordinates emergency response when there are multiple ministries and other provincial organizations involved. This type of coordination is usually needed for widespread and complex emergencies. The PERP does this by:
- Providing a planning basis that describes how emergencies can impact Ontario.
- Describing how emergencies typically unfold in the province.
- Providing an organizational structure to highlight primary lines of communication.
- Describing the basic mechanisms for how a multi-organizational provincial emergency response can be effectively coordinated.
- Providing an overview of the legislated responsibilities of the provincial ministries for emergency response.
Effective emergency management in Ontario requires a coordinated response between many different types of organizations, including:
- Municipalities (including single-tier, lower- and upper-tiers).
- Unincorporated communities living in unorganized territories.
- Other public sector organizations (e.g., hospitals, school boards).
- The Government of Canada.
- Private industry, including critical infrastructure owners and operators.
- First Nation communities on-reserve.
- Provincial ministries, agencies, boards, and commissions.
- Specialized response teams (e.g., Urban Search and Rescue)
- Neighbouring provinces and states.
- Non-governmental organizations.
The primary audience for the PERP is the emergency managers or emergency coordinators who develop and implement emergency plans for their organizations.
Under Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter E.9 (EMCPA), an emergency is “a situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident, or an act whether intentional or otherwise”.
Emergencies threaten public safety, public health, the environment, property, continuity of government operations, critical infrastructure, and economic stability. Emergencies vary in intensity and complexity depending on factors such as time of occurrence, weather conditions, severity of impact, type and construction of the affected infrastructure and buildings, type of hazard, and demographics.
In most instances, for emergencies that exceed the capacity of the individual, families or businesses, the impacted community manages the emergency response and recovery. Communities do this as a matter of routine by emergency services (including police, fire, and paramedic services), and in more serious cases by implementing their emergency plan. At this level of response, there are also other organizations and institutions that may have emergency responsibilities to manage, such as the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Long-Term Care managing disruptions to the provincial health system; or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry managing wildfires.
Occasionally, emergencies can arise where communities need additional support. In these instances, direct provincial government assistance may be necessary to support local emergency response activities. Similarly, the Government of Ontario frequently plays a role in supporting emergencies outside the province. Other jurisdictions outside of Ontario such as the Government of Canada or a neighbouring province may request support from Ontario when their response capabilities are not sufficient.
When the provincial government is responding to emergencies, there is often a need to coordinate between its various ministries and other provincial organizations. The PERP provides guidance on how this coordination is achieved.
The Provincial Emergency Response Plan (PERP) describes how Ontario coordinates the provincial-level response to emergencies that involve multiple provincial ministries and/or other organizations of the provincial government.
The PERP focuses on coordinating the efforts and resources of the Province of Ontario in an emergency involving multiple ministries and other provincial organizations. For these types of large or complex emergencies, the PERP provides information on how the Province of Ontario works with communities, the federal government, the private sector, and other emergency management stakeholders.
The primary audience for the PERP is the emergency managers who are developing their own plans and procedures for emergency response in Ontario. The PERP is also meant to be used by stakeholders in emergency management, and members of the public who wish to know how the Government of Ontario responds to emergencies.
The PERP meets the Solicitor General’s requirement to have a plan for emergency response pursuant to the assignment under Order in Council 1157/2009 of “any emergency that requires the coordination of provincial emergency management”.
A municipality is an incorporated administrative area, which has powers of self-government and jurisdiction as provided by provincial law (Municipal Act, S.O. 2001, c. 25). Most people in Ontario live within a municipality.
The PERP uses the phrase First Nations community to refer to on-reserve First Nations.
It is important to recognize that First Nation communities are not subject to the EMPCA. The Province of Ontario, through the PEOC, provides emergency response assistance to First Nation communities through an agreement with the Government of Canada, as administered by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). ISC is the federal government department responsible for working with First Nations and the Province of Ontario on emergency management issues. ISC is also responsible for assisting First Nation communities in developing and updating emergency plans at the regional and national level, as well as plans to mitigate the risk of emergencies (see section 2.7.7 for further details on plans).
Many Indigenous peoples live and form communities outside of First Nations reserves. In these circumstances, emergency management falls under the municipal or unincorporated communities in which they reside.
Not all Ontarians reside in areas that are designated as municipalities under the Municipal Act, S.O. 2001, c. 25. Under the Municipal Act, areas that are not organized into municipalities are referred to as unorganized territories, and do not have municipal governments. In recognition of the fact that there may be some organization in areas without a municipal government, the PERP uses unincorporated communities to refer to the people who live in unorganized territories.
Emergency management consists of organized programs and activities which address actual or potential emergencies or disasters.
Emergency management in Ontario is a shared responsibility that includes individuals and families, unincorporated communities, First Nations, municipal, provincial, and federal governments, and other involved organizations such as critical infrastructure owners and operators, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Emergency management programs are risk-based programs consisting of prescribed elements that may include prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities. In Ontario, these programs generally include:
- Emergency plans, which often include continuity of operations plans.
- Training for various emergency management activities.
- Public education on risks to public safety and on personal preparedness for emergencies.
220.127.116.11. Solicitor General
The Solicitor General is responsible for administering the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), which is the overarching legislation for emergency management in Ontario.
18.104.22.168. Ministries and other provincial government bodies
Section 5.1 of the EMCPA sets requirements for emergency management programs for ministries and other provincial government bodies. Additional standards for emergency management programs are set out in Ontario Regulation (O.Reg.) 380/04, made in accordance with section 14 of the EMCPA.
The EMCPA authorizes the Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGIC) to assign types of emergency to ministers, or agency, boards or commissions. The LGIC has assigned these responsibilities under Order in Council (OIC) 1157/2009, which can be found in Appendix C. OIC 1157/2009 does not currently assign any types of emergencies to Agencies, Boards, or Commissions.
Under OIC 1157/2009, all ministers are required to have an emergency plan “in respect of any emergency that affects the continuity of operations and services in their respective ministries”. This requirement is mirrored in section 7 of O.Reg. 380/04.
While the EMCPA and its regulation provide requirements for ministry emergency management programs, each ministry manages its own emergency programs according to its mandate. Some individual ministries have other emergency responsibilities under separate legislation, which is covered in their own emergency plans.
Section 2.1 of the EMCPA sets requirements for emergency management programs for municipalities. Additional standards for emergency management programs are set out in O.Reg. 380/04, made in accordance with section 14 of the EMCPA.
22.214.171.124. Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management
The EMCPA allows the LGIC to appoint from among the members of the Executive Council a committee to advise the LGIC on matters relating to emergencies. This cabinet advisory committee has been established as the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management (CCEM) through Order in Council 601/2019.
The Cabinet Office supports the CCEM and acts as a link to the Premier’s Office.
126.96.36.199. Chief of Emergency Management Ontario
The LGIC is responsible for appointing a Chief of Emergency Management Ontario (Chief, EMO). The Chief, EMO, leads the emergency management branch of the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM).
The Chief, EMO, under the direction of the Solicitor General, is responsible for monitoring, coordinating, and assisting in the development and implementation of emergency management programs for:
- Provincial organizations: all ministries of the Government of Ontario and every agency, board, commission and other branch of government designated under the EMCPA by the LGIC.
- Municipalities in Ontario.
Through agreements with the Government of Canada and First Nations in Ontario, the Chief, EMO also supports emergency management for First Nation communities.
Under the EMCPA the Chief, EMO is responsible for ensuring that emergency management programs in Ontario are co-ordinated in so far as possible with emergency management programs and emergency plans of the Government of Canada and its agencies. This includes providing support and assistance to the emergency management programs of municipalities and Ontario government organizations.
The Solicitor General has assigned responsibility to the Chief, EMO for administering and implementing the PERP, and for operation of the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC).
The PEOC is the central coordination hub for the overall provincial emergency response organization (provincial ERO). The provincial ERO is the collection of provincial organizations that are responsible for conducting emergency response actions in Ontario. The provincial ERO is made up of all of the provincial organizations that are actively involved in an emergency response operation. The specific organizations that are active in the provincial ERO can vary, depending on the requirements of the emergency.
The PERP shall be fully reviewed and amended by the Chief, EMO at least once every five years. Updates may be required sooner than 5 years if an unforeseen situation warrants it – for example, a major change to the EMCPA. The Solicitor General is responsible for directing revisions sooner than scheduled.
The five-year review process for the PERP shall include:
- Appropriate consultations with stakeholders to ensure that the plan reflects current emergency management directives, changes to legislation and/or other changes to address best practice emergency management methodologies.
- A review of all after-action review reports, corrective action plans, improvement plans, and any other provincial government reports with recommendations relevant to the PERP produced since the last revision.
- An assessment of the existing capability to meet the requirements of the PERP.
The Chief, EMO shall review the PERP on an annual basis to identify any need for an early entry to the full review cycle, or to identify any technical amendments that may need to be made. Technical amendments may include minor updates such as: changes to ministry names, corrections to fix grammar or typographical errors (typos), minor clarifications. Technical amendments to the plan may be made by the Chief, EMO between major revisions.
The Chief, EMO is responsible for ensuring that the most up-to-date version of the PERP is distributed to stakeholders in Ontario.
The aim of emergency response is to safeguard the health, safety, welfare and property of residents, and to protect the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of affected areas.
To that end, the aim of the Provincial Emergency Response Plan (PERP) is to establish a coordination framework for emergency response by the Province of Ontario so that emergency management stakeholders can effectively plan to work with Ontario prior to, during, and after an emergency. The PERP outlines how the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) and provincial ministries work together to respond to widespread, large-scale, and complex emergencies.
As recovery activities usually overlap with response, the framework presented in the PERP is also used to coordinate recovery activities that happen during the response phase.
The PERP is structured around four major goals:
- Describe arrangements to safeguard the health, safety, welfare and property of the people of Ontario when an emergency occurs.
- Set out the basic organizational structures, responsibilities, and guidance for a coordinated provincial response to emergencies involving multiple ministries and other provincial organizations.
- Describe how the provincial emergency response organization (provincial ERO) will coordinate emergency assistance to communities within Ontario, and to other organizations and jurisdictions both within and outside of Ontario.
- Describe how the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) communicates and shares information with and between stakeholders to enhance situational awareness.
In order to achieve these goals, the plan must:
- Be flexible enough to adapt to a broad spectrum of types of emergencies.
- Describe emergency response that is supplemental to, and not a substitute for, community resources.
- Describe mechanisms of support for emergencies with or without a formal declaration of emergency.
- Describe the coordination of response and recovery activities that are led by the province during the response phase.
- Describe the provision of centralised coordination of emergency management across multiple provincial organizations.
The PERP outlines the general concepts, structure, and requirements for the response to an emergency that requires the coordination of activities between multiple provincial organizations. The PERP describes how this type of response is coordinated between community, provincial, and federal governments, as well as other responding organizations.
There is significant overlap between response and recovery activities in an emergency. The PERP provides guidance on the coordination of recovery activities when they happen concurrently with response activities.
The PERP reflects provisions of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), including provincial responsibilities for types of emergencies to specific ministers. Such provisions could also apply generally to agencies, boards and commissions designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGIC).
Emergency response activities undertaken pursuant to the PERP could occur due to the impact of any hazard, with the exception of nuclear and radiological emergencies. The Provincial Hazard Identification Report  identifies the most significant hazards with the potential to affect Ontario.
The PERP should be used for the coordination of provincial emergency response activities in any of the following circumstances:
- An emergency occurs that requires a coordinated provincial response.
- The PEOC receives a request for assistance in emergency response from anyone, where that assistance requires more than one ministry
- A request for assistance in responding to an emergency has been made to the PEOC.
- An emergency is imminent, and it is anticipated that there will be a need for support or assistance from the provincial ERO.
- A declared municipal or First Nation emergency requires a coordinated provincial response.
- A declaration of emergency is made by the LGIC or the Premier.
- When directed by a minister who has been designated by the Premier to exercise the Premier’s emergency powers.
- A minister assigned a type of emergency (under section 6 of the EMCPA) requests assistance from the PEOC.
- When directed by the Commissioner of Emergency Management.
- When directed by the Chief of Emergency Management Ontario (Chief, EMO), or designate.
- A national declaration of emergency by the Government of Canada that affects or has the potential to affect Ontario.
Listed below are the major assumptions on which the PERP is based. These assumptions form a basis from which the PERP was constructed and from which the PERP shall be implemented in an emergency.
The PERP assumes:
- Communities will first utilise existing local capabilities, according to their plans and procedures, to respond to and recover from emergencies, including using mutual aid/assistance agreements.
- Where a community has determined that its capabilities/capacity are insufficient to address all needs of an emergency, the Government of Ontario will mobilize emergency resources and expertise to assist.
- Individuals, families, governments and other organizations have varying abilities to resist, absorb, accommodate, adapt to, transform and recover from the effects of a hazard. Not all will be self-sufficient.
The PERP is guided by Ontario’s Emergency Management Doctrine (EM Doctrine), which sets out the overall framework for emergency management in the Province of Ontario. The PERP is one of several documents that together provide a coherent and integrated approach to emergency management in Ontario, as described in the EM Doctrine and shown in Figure 2-1 below.
The structure for, and relationships between, Ontario’s emergency plans are shown in Figure 2-2.
This PERP is the provincial emergency plan for all-hazards response and coordination for emergencies involving multiple provincial organizations. Since it describes how the province coordinates an overall provincial response, it informs how other organizations’ plans work together. The PERP provides guidance on recovery activities during the response phase, and a foundation for the transition to the recovery phase.
Nuclear and radiological emergencies are addressed separately in the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan (PNERP). It is independent from the PERP.
A nuclear emergency may require the simultaneous implementation of the PERP to address any non-nuclear impacts.
All provincial ministers are required to develop and maintain emergency plans that address continuity of operations under Ontario Regulation (O.Reg.) 380/04. Those ministers assigned a type of emergency under Order in Council (OIC) 1157/2009 must also develop an emergency response plan in respect of that assignment. These can be in the same or different plans.
Ministry emergency response plans shall be “coordinated in so far as possible with the emergency response plans of other ministries” (O. Reg. 380/04, s. 9.), which includes the PERP.
Where ministries have types of emergencies assigned to them under an OIC, their plans should identify the resources and the procedures that are necessary to recognize, contain and then resolve the consequences of a situation that falls within their assignment.
Section 8.1 of the EMCPA authorizes the Solicitor General to formulate other emergency plans as they deem necessary or desirable; this is reinforced by the OIC 1157/2009 assignment to the Solicitor General of “any other peacetime emergency not listed [in this OIC]”. There are two plans currently formulated by the Ministry of the Solicitor General under this provision:
- Ontario’s Mass Evacuation Plan – Part 1: Far North
- The Provincial Emergency Information Plan
These plans exist in support of, and are complementary to, the PERP.
Municipal emergency response plans are mandated by the EMCPA and O.Reg. 380/04. These plans should include consideration for how the municipality will work with the Province in an emergency.
As there is no municipality present in unorganized territories, there is no requirement in those areas for any person to formulate emergency plans under the EMCPA.
Individual First Nations are the first line of response in the event of an emergency on a reserve. As a best practice, First Nations are advised to create and implement emergency management plans to prepare communities to cope with an emergency.
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is responsible for assisting First Nation communities in developing and updating emergency plans at the regional and national level, as well as plans to mitigate the risk of emergencies. ISC is also responsible for ensuring that First Nations have access to emergency management services comparable to those available to other communities in the province.
ISC’s responsibilities are described in the National On-Reserve Emergency Management Plan. This plan provides the overview of the roles and responsibilities ISC has during an emergency impacting on-reserve First Nations in Canada. Emergencies that are within the scope of ISC’s responsibilities can be defined as immediate threats to health, safety, and business continuity on First Nation reserves.
It is recommended that First Nations’ emergency management plans include consideration for how they will coordinate with the Province and ISC.
In support of individual First Nation emergency plans, the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management has, in consultation with ISC and First Nations in Ontario, compiled the Joint Emergency Management Steering Committee (JEMS) Service Level Evacuation Standards. These standards are based on Ontario’s Mass Evacuation Plan – Part 1: Far North. The standards describe the process for a partial or full evacuation of a First Nation, including summarizing the roles and responsibilities of all participating agencies, authorities, and host communities.
Along with the Provincial Emergency Response Plan (PERP) goals described in Section 2.2, the planning basis guides the implementation of the PERP by describing where it applies, what types of emergencies can be expected in Ontario, and priorities for response and recovery.
Emergency management in Ontario is based on a risk management approach and includes five components:
Actions taken to stop an emergency or disaster from occurring. Such actions may include legislative controls, zoning restrictions, improved operating standards/procedures and critical infrastructure management.
Actions taken to reduce the adverse impacts of an emergency or disaster. Such actions may include diversion or containment measures to lessen the impacts of a flood or a spill.
Actions taken prior to an emergency or disaster to ensure an effective response. These actions include the formulation of emergency plans, business continuity/continuity of operations plans, training, exercises, and public awareness and education.
The provision of emergency services and public assistance or intervention during or immediately after an incident in order to protect people, property, the environment, the economy and/or services. This may include the provision of resources such as personnel, services and/or equipment.
The process of restoring a stricken community to a pre-disaster level of functioning. This may include the provision of financial assistance, repairing buildings and/or restoration of the environment.
Ensuring a strong and seamless relationship across all these components is critical to ensure effective emergency management.
While the PERP focuses on response, and the foundations of recovery, the remaining components of prevention, mitigation and preparedness are proactive components that are critical elements in any emergency and provide important context to how emergency management works in Ontario. Prevention, mitigation and preparedness measures can greatly diminish the need for response and recovery activities required for certain emergencies, and may result in long-term, cost-effective reduction of risk.
Response is directly addressed in this PERP. Recovery is addressed where it occurs in parallel to response activities.
Response can begin where there is advanced warning of an emergency, or otherwise immediately following and throughout the event. Response is focused on keeping people safe, meeting urgent emergency needs, and limiting further damage or destruction.
Recovery activities can begin at the same time as response actions are ongoing. In these cases, recovery activities should be coordinated alongside ongoing response actions. The aim of recovery measures is to assist individuals, businesses and communities to return to a state of normalcy.
While response activities are generally limited to short-term activities, recovery can span short (e.g., days, weeks), medium (e.g. weeks, months) and long-term (e.g., months, years) periods. Examples of recovery activities include short-term efforts such as debris removal, medium-term efforts such as crisis mental health support for affected communities, or long-term projects such as rebuilding residential property or critical assets and infrastructure.
Community ownership, empowerment, and partnership in recovery are essential to comprehensive recovery. Such efforts require specific expertise, coordination, and emergency resources that surpass the capabilities, capacity, or regular operating structure of ‘normal’ (i.e., non-emergency) services and resources. Recovery efforts should aim to improve a community's physical, social, environmental and economic conditions to create a more resilient community, through integration of disaster risk reduction measures.
The geographic area covered by the PERP follows Government of Ontario territorial boundaries. Emergency management responsibilities within this area fall within the authority of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).
First Nation reserves within Ontario are not subject to the EMCPA. The PERP contains provisions for responding to emergencies affecting First Nations, which are based on agreements between the First Nations, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Ontario (refer to Appendix D.1.5 for more details).
Municipalities provide local government services within either a single-tier or a two-tier municipal structure.
Two-Tier Municipalities: In a two-tier structure, there is an upper-tier municipality that is comprised of two or more lower-tier municipalities.
Single-tier Municipalities: Single-tier municipalities are those that do not form part of an upper-tier municipality. They provide for all local government services. All municipalities in northern Ontario, and many in southern Ontario, are single-tier municipalities.
188.8.131.52. First Nation reserves
A First Nation reserve is a tract of land set aside under the federal Indian Act and treaty agreements for the exclusive use of an Indian band (First Nation). There are 133 on-reserve First Nations across Ontario that constitute many nations, each with unique beliefs, language and histories. A quarter of these communities are small and remote. This includes many that are fly-in communities that are only accessible by land during the winter months when an ice road is available.
184.108.40.206. Unincorporated Communities
An unorganized territory is any geographic region in Ontario that does not form part of a municipality or First Nation reserve, as defined in the Municipal Act. For the purposes of emergency management, the lowest level of government in these areas is the province. The municipal requirements under the EMCPA do not apply to people living in unorganized territories.
Even though there is no municipal structure, some unincorporated communities may have infrastructure or services in place that could assist with response and recovery efforts:
- Local Service Boards may provide some of the services or undertake responsibilities that would otherwise be covered by municipalities (Northern Services Boards Act, 1990).
- Similarly, there are Local Roads Boards serving some unincorporated communities to support maintenance and construction of roads (Local Roads Boards Act, 1990).
- Finally, some unincorporated communities have fire departments through the Northern Fire Protection Program.
Communities in Ontario are supported by critical infrastructure: interdependent, interactive, interconnected networks of institutions, services, systems and processes that meet vital human needs, sustain the economy, protect public safety and security, and maintain continuity of and confidence in government. Critical infrastructure systems in Ontario can be owned and operated by either the government, the private sector, or a combination of both.
Ontario identifies nine critical infrastructure sectors:
- Food and Water.
- Telecommunication Systems.
- Electrical Power System.
- Gas and Oil.
- Financial Services.
- Health System.
- Transportation Networks.
- Public Safety and Security.
- Continuity of Government.
The PERP recognizes that protecting and restoring critical infrastructure in an emergency is important to ensuring that the needs of people in Ontario are met during an emergency.
Ontario covers a large and diverse area. Across this area, there are significant differences in the risk of hazards, depending on the physical, social, political, economic, and environmental characteristics of each community in Ontario. These factors create entirely different risk landscapes, which results in different planning priorities across the province.
These differences also have a large impact on how response and recovery activities are resourced, prioritized, designed, and managed.
An emergency may:
- Occur with little or no warning.
- Escalate rapidly and strain the resources of emergency response organizations.
- Occur in any area of the province.
- Vary in scope from small and localized, to multi-jurisdictional emergencies.
- Vary in intensity from minimal damage or injury to extensive devastation and/or loss of life.
- Vary in length, potentially leading to lasting impacts and lengthy response or recovery operations.
The PERP is founded on a comprehensive understanding of potential emergency scenarios, which are established in an all-hazards approach to risk through hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA).
Ontario’s 2019 Hazard Identification Report informs an understanding of the potential impacts of hazards across Ontario, which in turn guides the development of the resource and responsibility requirements outlined in this plan.
Subsections 2.1 (3) and 5.1 (2) of the EMCPA mandate that every municipality, minister of the Crown and every designated agency, board, commission and other branches of government must conduct “hazard and risk assessment and infrastructure identification”.
All communities have different pre-emergency levels of resilience. This creates drastically different needs for emergency management operations across the province. Vulnerability is an important factor in understanding resilience, as increased vulnerability to a hazard will reduce a community’s resilience.
A comprehensive risk-based approach to emergency management includes the process of building community knowledge to understand the existing level of community resilience.
A concept of operations is a component of an emergency plan that clarifies the overall approach to responding to an emergency. This concept of operations describes the conceptual approach to provincial-level coordination in an emergency.
The most basic level of response and recovery consists of individuals, families, and organizations dealing with an emergency that directly affects them. Impacted people and organizations may or may not need emergency support from the government, depending on the scale and nature of the emergency, and the resilience of those impacted (see section 3.5 for more information on resilience).
Individuals, families, and organizations that are impacted by an emergency lead their own response and recovery efforts, and they connect with government services on an as-needed basis. Individuals, families, and organizations impacted by emergencies do not have specific responsibilities under the Provincial Emergency Response Plan (PERP).
Individuals and organizations that are impacted by an emergency initiate their own emergency response actions where they are able to, focused on their own needs and responsibilities.
Formal government coordination of response and recovery efforts begins with the government with primary jurisdiction.
For many emergencies that occur in Ontario, there are overlapping jurisdictions, including community and political boundaries as well as layers of legislated responsibility or authority. Services from many levels of government could respond simultaneously to an emergency, each with jurisdiction for different responsibilities and aspects of the event. In addition, specific Ontario ministries have legislated emergency management responsibilities to make plans with respect to a type of emergency (see the OIC 1157/2009 that assigns these responsibilities in Appendix C).
An example of how all these different organizations come together during the response is a spill of a chemical from an industrial facility to the environment, which includes but is not limited to the organizations listed in Table 4-1.
|Organization||Level of response||Role|
Owner of chemical
Report spill, initiate response efforts, trigger insurance claim.
Fire and rescue, hazardous materials (HazMat) teams, police, and paramedic services
Life-safety response, containment.
Local Health System
Municipal Emergency Operations Centres
Coordination of municipal response activities.
Public health units
Assess impacts to local population health and making recommendations.
Emergency social services supports
Spills Action Centre (Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks)
Assess environmental and health impacts, monitor and ensure response proceeds per legislative responsibility.
Ontario Provincial Police, Ministry of Transportation
Emergency highway traffic control measures.
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Assess remediation and, if necessary, require that additional actions under applicable legislation.
Ministry of Labour
It is possible that the needs of the responding organization(s) will exceed their capacity to effectively respond to some or all impacts of an emergency. This does not necessarily mean that these organizations have become overwhelmed, but that coordination efforts and resources must grow to appropriately respond to or recover from an emergency.
Existing additional arrangements can enhance response efforts, including but not limited to contractual agreements for specific services, bi-lateral agreements, and mutual assistance agreements with neighboring municipalities and/or upper tier municipalities, if applicable. At the provincial level, Ontario has made arrangements with neighbouring provinces and states for mutual assistance (refer to section 220.127.116.11 for details on provincial-level agreements).
If the emergency exceeds part or all of the capacity of an organization to respond, it can request support from the next level of government, as needed. For example, the Government of Ontario could request assistance from the Government of Canada to address gaps resulting from a provincial capacity being exceeded. The identified gaps could be addressed with any number of federal assets including, for example, the Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada, or the Canadian Armed Forces.
In extraordinary circumstances, emergencies can occur where wide areas, large numbers of people, or significant critical infrastructure systems are affected. The impacts of large and widespread emergencies can vary significantly, depending on the resilience of the affected organizations and communities. In cases where these impacts are significant, normal service and resource arrangements may not be sufficient to meet the needs for response and recovery.
Coordinating organizations may need to prioritize the use of limited resources in large and widespread emergencies. The availability of staff and resources may be stretched to the point that organizations with continuity of operations plans may need to activate them to ensure that they may continue to respond to the emergency (see section 6.16 for more details on continuity of operations).
When one or more organizations have reached the limit of their response capabilities, or when an event happens that requires a capability that the organization does not have, extra assistance is needed. Requests for assistance are frequently consolidated through dedicated emergency management organizations.
There may be instances where emergency resources or coordination are provided to other jurisdictions though a mutual assistance agreement, federal request for assistance or other mechanism (this is separate from non-emergency foreign aid, which is a federal responsibility).
Individual ministries may provide assistance to other regions outside the scope of the PERP, through their own arrangements and agreements. The PERP may be used in the event that further coordination between provincial organizations is required. The PERP guides the actions of the provincial emergency response organization (provincial ERO) where such assistance is given as part of a coordinated provincial response, even if it is provided outside of the geographic limits of the province.
Example: A severe train derailment that leads to a large spill of a dangerous chemical (e.g., chlorine) into a community. That community’s HazMat capacity is exceeded, and so the community’s emergency operations centre makes a request to the province through the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) to deploy a provincial HazMat team. Other provincial ministries also become involved according to their jurisdiction, for example, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks would assist with drinking water issues and with air monitoring support.
The requests for assistance between levels of government generally follow a structure from the “bottom-up”: from community, to provincial, to federal levels of government. All levels of this hierarchy work on different types of tasks and activities, with many jurisdictions and organizations working together in partnership through emergency management structures.
The “bottom-up” approach does not necessarily mean that emergency management must begin at the local level. Rather, it references the fact that efforts are often coordinated starting at the local level of government, and proceeding to the provincial and then the national level as more coordination of provincial and national resources are needed.
There are some exceptions to this rule. This includes requests for assistance under the Joint Emergency Management Steering Committee (JEMS) Service Level Evacuation Standards, where requests for assistance can pass from a First Nation to the PEOC and Indigenous Services Canada simultaneously, and response follows a consensus-based model. Similarly, a “top-down” approach might be found in incidents with specific provincial or federal government authorities, or where the provincial / federal governments need to request help from a municipality or province respectively.
Example: In a communicable disease outbreak similar to the 2003 SARS outbreak, the province through the Chief Medical Officer of Health could issue directives under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.7, to any health care provider or health care entity respecting precautions and procedures to be followed to protect the health of persons anywhere in Ontario.
In all cases where there is a need for coordination between provincial organizations, the provincial ERO facilitates Ontario’s efforts in response, and helps coordinate between and across these different layers of government involvement.
Coordination is a process designed to ensure that different and complex activities can work together effectively.
In the context of a response under the PERP, coordination encompasses three key components:
- Establishing a common understanding of roles and responsibilities as they relate to a particular response.
- Facilitating the activities of all relevant stakeholders to work towards common or complementary objectives.
- Sharing information in a timely and structured manner so that all stakeholders have a common understanding of the situation.
Most government organizations have a coordination centre to ensure that emergency response activities are effectively managed within its jurisdiction. In Ontario, all municipalities and ministries have emergency operations centres. The federal government employs a system of coordination centres and regional offices. More details on coordination centres for different levels of government can be found in section 5.
As an emergency grows in severity, and community resources become committed to response efforts, a dedicated coordinating organization is activated:
- In Ontario municipalities, a municipal emergency operations centre is activated, led by the Municipal Emergency Control Group (MECG).
- On First Nation reserves, the coordination mechanism can vary, but is generally led by a combination of the fire chief and/or a dedicated emergency coordinator, under the direction of the Chief and Council.
Through its coordinating organization, the community manages its own resources to respond to and recover from emergencies. The community also coordinates with individuals, businesses and organizations, such as volunteers, non-governmental organizations, contractors, suppliers, and critical infrastructure owners.
Communities may rely on mutual aid agreements with adjacent communities to augment their emergency response.
There is no formal mechanism for emergency coordination for unincorporated communities under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA). In some cases, provincial staff may need to be deployed to assist unincorporated communities with the coordination of provincial emergency response activities.
There are potentially dozens of organizations involved in a response at the provincial level. While each individual organization works to coordinate its own response with that of its stakeholders, the number of ongoing activities in a widespread emergency requires a central hub to coordinate the overall response.
The PEOC is this central hub for provincial emergency response coordination. The PEOC coordinates overall response efforts between provincial organizations. The PEOC coordinates with organizations that are not part of the provincial government, including affected communities, the Government of Canada, neighbouring jurisdictions, private industry and non-governmental organizations. The specific mechanisms for this coordination are described in further detail in Section 6.8.
Ministries and other provincial organizations involved in a response may activate their own EOCs in order to coordinate their own response efforts.
Although the PEOC performs a coordination role for communications, it does not take control of every line of communication. The ministries and other provincial organizations should still communicate directly with other organizations in order to carry out their response activities.
The PEOC, actively involved ministries, and other involved provincial organizations together comprise the overall provincial ERO.
The Government Operations Centre serves as the coordination centre for the federal response, providing regular situation reports as well as briefing and decision-making support materials for Ministers and Senior Officials.
Federal government institution-specific operations centres support their institutional roles and mandates and contribute to the integrated Government of Canada response through the Government Operations Centre.
When an emergency requires an integrated Government of Canada response, the Public Safety Canada Regional Director coordinates the response on behalf of federal government institutions in the region.
The Federal Coordination Centre, stood up by the Public Safety Canada Regional Office, coordinates the federal response during an emergency and the national Emergency Response System forms the basis for that coordination. The Federal Coordination Centre also becomes the single point of contact for the PEOC during a major response within Ontario.
Information management is a set of processes that directs and supports the coordination and use of information in an organization. It includes efforts to:
- Standardize terminology.
- Create credible and reliable information products.
- Perform analysis to inform decision-making.
Information management practices help improve situational awareness across responding organizations, and directly support emergency public information activities.
The information management process used by the provincial ERO facilitates effective decision-making and allows for a common and shared understanding of the:
- Status of the incident.
- Status of incident response and recovery activities.
- Status of resources.
- Plan of action.
Information management applies to, but is not limited to, the following types of data and communications:
- Telecommunications (voice and data).
- Geospatial Information Systems (GIS).
- Reports and other written products.
- In-person meetings and interactions.
There are four phases in the information management process, which support effective and efficient coordination and use of information (see Figure 4-2).
During emergency response operations, the provincial ERO should move through this process at least once every operational period.
- Identifying information requirements, including intended audience.
- Identifying sources of information.
- Gathering of information from all available sources.
- Organizing and storing information in a central, accessible place.
- Checking the accuracy of collected information, including evaluation of source trustworthiness, and verification against secondary sources. Where inaccurate or misinformation is identified, it should be flagged to the source to be corrected.
- Determining what information is important for the current operation.
- Determining who needs what information.
- Sorting out unimportant details.
- Identify any remaining information gaps.
- Organizing the relevant information to make it easy to understand.
- Creating information products (reports, maps, etc.) that can be used by responders and decision makers.
- Distributing information and analysis to the people and organizations who need it in an appropriate format and in a timely manner.
Information management should include consideration for managing emergency public information.
The public needs up-to-date and accurate emergency public information through a variety of communications methods, including social and traditional media. In complex incidents several organizations may work together to coordinate their messages or may work together in a Joint Information Centre – refer to section 6.15.
All organizations involved in emergency response should make every reasonable effort to make accurate records of all emergency response activities. This includes proper filing and storage of all incoming and outgoing communications, information products, the completion of personal logs.
Having these records helps inform post-emergency reviews. Recordkeeping is critical in ensuring that best practices are captured, and mistakes are not repeated.
In addition to this general guidance, provincial organizations are subject to the Archives and Record Keeping Act S.O. 2006, Chapter 34, and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act R.S.O. 1990, Chapter F.31. Specific organizations may be subject to other recordkeeping requirements under other legislation (e.g., the Personal Health Information Protection Act, S.O. 2004 Chapter 3). Operational record keeping procedures should be developed in consultation with legal counsel.
Refer to section 6.9.3 for details on protection of information.
The PERP provides standardized response goals for the prioritization of response actions. The standardized response goals should be used to help guide all decisions made by the Government of Ontario in the response to any emergency. While the standardized response goals are intended to provide guidance on prioritization, they can and should be pursued concurrently where sufficient resources exist.
The standardized response goals are as follows, presented in descending order, and include examples of key actions for each (not an exhaustive list):
Protect the safety of all responders
- Provision for physical and mental health.
Protect and preserve life
- Provision of urgent emergency needs including rescue and emergency medical triage and care, issuing of information and warnings.
Treat the sick and injured
- Medical care to those affected.
- Trauma management and mental health crisis intervention.
Care for immediate needs
- Provision of immediate emergency needs, food, shelter, and clothing.
- Provision of immediate emergency needs of affected pets and livestock.
- Protection of community member's safety (including visitors and tourists).
Protect public health
- Protection of community members' continuing health.
Ensure the continuity of essential services & government
- Protection of critical infrastructure and community assets that are essential to the health, safety, and welfare of people, and that support community resilience.
- Protection of property from imminent threats.
- Protection of residential property as a place of primary residence.
Protect the environment
- Protection of the environment from imminent threats.
Prevent or reduce economic and social losses
- Reduction of economic and social losses.
Emergencies vary in intensity and complexity. Prioritization of actions is partly determined by the characteristics of the affected population(s) or assets, which are inconsistent across Ontario.
Ontario consists of diverse communities and groups. There are groups in Ontario that require special consideration from the provincial government in emergency response and recovery. These include patients in hospitals or long-term care, crown wards, inmates, persons with disabilities or other barriers to access services, and those who are otherwise more vulnerable than the rest of the population.
All response under the PERP should consider barriers to access services and the potential vulnerability of those affected by emergencies, to facilitate response with equitable outcomes. This includes work to identify equity-related issues and create approaches to address gaps.
Declared emergencies are a formal mechanism under the EMCPA that permits heads of government to take actions and make orders to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people, and to protect property and the environment in the emergency area. Similarly, the federal government can declare an emergency under the federal Emergencies Act.
First Nations can declare emergencies that triggers the implementation of the federal/provincial bilateral agreement for emergency response.
Unincorporated communities do not have the ability to declare emergencies, because no person or entity within an unorganized territory has the authority to declare an emergency under the municipal declarations provision of the EMCPA (4.). A provincial declaration of emergency can still be made by the Premier or Lieutenant Governor in Council to cover an unorganized territory. Refer to Section 6.6.5 for guidance on provincial declarations of emergency covering unorganized territories.
A declaration of emergency is not typically required in order to implement an emergency plan. Similarly, requests for assistance can be made with or without a formal declaration, by issuing a request to the next level of government. Provincial declarations of emergency are made when extraordinary legal powers are required. See section 6.6 for more details on declarations of emergency, and Appendix D for specific criteria for a provincial declaration of emergency.
The improvement planning process is an aspect of quality management that aims to evaluate tasks or processes after they have been used and identify areas for improvement.
After action reports consist of analysis of actions undertaken during the response phase, inclusive of any activities or agency within the emergency response organization.
Ontario uses the improvement planning process as a key mechanism to link response and recovery to prevention, mitigation, and preparedness. After action reports and improvement plans identify and then address important gaps in prevention, mitigation, and preparedness.
Ontario’s ministries and other provincial organizations respond to emergencies on a regular basis. These provincial organizations work directly with impacted individuals, communities, and other organizations/entities outside the government to accomplish their response tasks. Often, the involvement of the Government of Ontario is limited to a small number of provincial organizations, and there is no need for a dedicated coordinating organization.
Some emergencies are large, complex, or impact a number of jurisdictions. In these cases, there is a need for a coordinated response from the many provincial organizations that are responding. The provincial emergency response organization (provincial ERO) is the organization that is formed during multi-jurisdictional emergencies to conduct Ontario’s coordinated response.
The provincial ERO is made up of all of the provincial organizations that are actively involved in an emergency response operation. The specific organizations that are active in the provincial ERO can vary, depending on the requirements of the emergency.
The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) is the central coordinating hub of the provincial ERO.
Other components of the provincial ERO connect to the PEOC as needed in order to facilitate provision of the appropriate services. In this way, the organization is flexible and adaptable to the needs of the current situation and all hazards.
All Ontario government ministries and agencies/boards/commissions are also considered part of the provincial ERO. These organizations connect to the PEOC as needed in order to ensure coordinated provision of support to the emergency response operation, including sharing information, resources or coordination support, generally through a staff liaison.
Strategic leadership of the provincial ERO is the responsibility of elected and appointed government officials, including the Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGIC), the Premier, The Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management, the Solicitor General, and the Commissioner of Emergency Management.
The provincial ERO is made up of many organizations with separate reporting and operational structures. Ontario therefore uses the Incident Management System (IMS) to give organizations a common framework so they can cooperate, communicate and coordinate their work during an incident.
IMS is a standardized and coordinated approach to managing incidents that provides a functional interoperability at all levels of emergency management. Organizational structures include the provisions for common response functions, including but not limited to: Command & Coordination, Operations, Planning, Logistics, Finance and Administration, and Public Information.
IMS includes guidance for all aspects of coordinating a response including but not limited to:
- Support to the site or overall incident response.
- Coordination of incident response efforts.
- Command of response efforts.
IMS is the established provincial system and is used by the PEOC. The Ontario IMS is described in the document “Incident Management System for Ontario”.
The basic structure established for the response to an emergency that requires the coordination of activities between multiple provincial organizations is illustrated in Figure 5-1. What is shown is the primary lines of communication and coordination for a multi-jurisdictional response. Each organization will make additional connections with other organizations as required by the needs of the emergency.
The depiction below is not a command and control structure. The PEOC does not direct the operations of the other provincial ministries, involved municipalities, or any other organizations involved in a response.
The LGIC and the Premier of Ontario provide overall direction to the management of the emergency response during an emergency that requires provincial support. The LGIC is also responsible for making provincial declarations of emergency and emergency orders as described in Section 6.6.3. In urgent situations the Premier can make a provincial declaration of emergency and make orders immediately.
Each provincial ministry receives overall direction from the LGIC through its respective minister. The lines of reporting vary between ministries.
The Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management (CCEM) works in conjunction with the Premier’s Office, Cabinet Office, other affected ministries and the Chief of Emergency Management Ontario (Chief, EMO) to ensure the continued operations and constitutional governance in Ontario in the event of emergencies that could affect Ontario – regionally or provincially.
The Committee’s main roles and responsibilities during an emergency can be summarized as follows:
- Develop the overall provincial emergency management response strategy of the Government of Ontario.
- Conduct high-level briefings and discussions of strategic issues with appropriate ministries.
- Ensure strategic issues management.
- Ensure the continuity of critical government operations and services.
During an emergency involving a multi-jurisdictional response by the provincial ERO, individual ministries and other provincial organizations are responsible for briefing to, and receiving direction from, their own ministers through their regular reporting processes. This includes reports to the CCEM by permanent or temporary member ministries, as required.
The Solicitor General acts as the link from the PEOC to the CCEM. The chain of command and communication proceeds as follows:
- Solicitor General.
- Deputy Solicitor General, Community Safety.
- Commissioner of Emergency Management.
- Chief, EMO.
The Commissioner of Emergency Management is appointed by the LGIC under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA). The Commissioner of Emergency Management may be delegated powers under section 7.0.4(1) of the EMCPA. For more details on powers under the EMCPA, see Section 18.104.22.168.
The Commissioner of Emergency Management provides a link between the Chief, EMO, and the Deputy Solicitor General, Community Safety.
During an emergency, the Chief, EMO is responsible for acting as the link between the Commissioner of Emergency Management and the PEOC.
Additionally, the Chief, EMO is responsible for overseeing the continuing operations of the PEOC. Through the PEOC, the Chief, EMO is responsible for:
- Monitoring and assessing potential and/or actual emergency situations.
- Implementing the Provincial Emergency Response Plan (PERP) when the situation warrants.
- Coordinating response activities between provincial Organizations where required.
- Coordinate with ministries’ responses to emergencies that require continuity of provincial government services.
- Operating the PEOC continuously at the appropriate level to maintain effective operations.
- Maintaining a 24/7 contact point for receiving reports and requests for assistance.
- Notifying provincial officials when a serious community emergency situation is reported or declared, or if a request for assistance is received. Includes but is not limited to: Ministry Emergency Management Coordinators, and, through the Commissioner of Emergency Management, the Deputy Solicitor General Community Safety, the Solicitor General, the Premier, and the provincial Cabinet.
- Notify communities that may be affected by a serious emergency situation that is reported or declared to the PEOC.
- Liaising with community officials to offer advice, assistance and obtain information on an on-going basis.
- Briefing senior provincial officials (through the Commissioner of Emergency Management, the Deputy Solicitor General Community Safety, the Solicitor General, the Premier, and the provincial Cabinet) whenever there is a significant change in the emergency situation.
- Working with other ministries to coordinate the deployment of provincial staff to perform liaison and other response tasks.
- Maintaining liaison on an ongoing basis with federal departments and institutions, other provinces and contiguous states for the purpose of planning and sharing information and resources for emergency response.
- Providing situation reports and making recommendations to the Commissioner of Emergency Management.
The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) is the central coordinator of the provincial ERO. The PEOC is physically located in Toronto, with an alternate location in Hamilton.
It serves five core functions:
- Provides 24/7 continuous monitoring of ongoing emergencies in the province, as well as situations that have the potential to result in an emergency.
- Provides a physical location and specialized resources to facilitate inter-organizational coordination efforts.
- Facilitates the sharing of key information, to support decision-makers and provincial resources in evolving situations as effectively as possible.
- Receives requests for provincial assistance and coordinates the provision of assistance with other provincial ministries and from the federal government.
- Maintains 24/7 capability to operate the Alert Ready wireless public alerting system on behalf of communities and provincial organizations in Ontario. Refer to Section 6.3 for more details on public alerting.
The PEOC is responsible for the overarching coordination of the provincial response, based on the strategic direction received through the government reporting chain (Section 5.4.3). The PEOC, in return, provides timely support, information and analysis to the leadership of the provincial government to assist in strategic planning.
While the PEOC is responsible for the overarching coordination of the response to an emergency, some ministries are required to have emergency response plans in respect of types of emergencies assigned to them under OIC 1157/2009. The role of the PEOC within this structure is to mitigate duplication of effort amongst responding organizations and promote collaboration to ensure issues are identified, managed or triaged effectively between the lead ministry and the PEOC. In this manner, the PEOC operates as the central provincial coordination body, focusing on broader coordination issues outside of the scope of the lead ministry.
The Chief, EMO, through the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM), is responsible for operating the PEOC. In order to effectively coordinate provincial emergency response operations, the OFMEM shall:
- Formulate, update, and maintain procedures for operating the PEOC.
- Equip, test and maintain the appropriate technological and telecommunications systems in the PEOC to support effective communications and information management.
- Schedule an appropriate complement of staff to work in the PEOC (as dictated by the scope of the emergency), and ensure that sufficient surge capacity exists to respond to large and complex emergencies, including provision for 24/7 staffing.
The PEOC is led by the PEOC Commander, and is organized into sections that reflect Ontario’s Incident Management System. For further details on PEOC sections, see Appendix F.
Provincial ministries, federal departments, and other organizations (such as non-governmental organizations) may be requested to provide representatives to the PEOC. The OFMEM is responsible for ensuring that these representatives receive appropriate training on the PEOC procedures.
During the response to and recovery from an emergency, ministries may activate their ministry emergency operations centre (MEOC) under the direction of their ministry action group, as required. They carry out ministry responsibilities and direct and coordinate ministry actions (including those of their regional/area offices covering the affected area) according to the PERP and their ministry’s emergency plan(s).
Ministries will define the specific make-up of their MEOC but should ensure that the core functions of Ontario’s IMS are met.
All ministries should maintain procedures to augment staffing levels in their own EOCs, as well as for any other capabilities.
Under Ontario Regulation (O.Reg.) 380/04, the ministry action group may “at any time seek the advice and assistance of the following:
- Officials or employees of any ministry.
- Officials or employees of any other level of government who are involved in emergency management.
- Representatives of organizations outside government who are involved in emergency management.
- Persons representing industries that may be involved in emergency management.” O. Reg. 380/04, s. 3 (10).
The Government Operations Centre (GOC) is an interdepartmental asset of the Government of Canada, housed within Public Safety Canada, that coordinates federal activities at the national whole-of-government level, including coordination of activities in support of the PEOC, when required. It provides a common location for subject matter experts and Liaison Officers from Federal/Provincial/Territorial government departments and non-governmental organizations can gather to perform the primary functions related to the Federal Emergency Response Management System.
The GOC may request federal departments send Federal Liaison Officers to attend the GOC based on the requirements of the response. Federal Liaison Officers serve as the link between the GOC and their home institution. They provide knowledge of their home institution including roles, responsibilities, mandates and plans. They are also responsible for briefing their home institution on developments related to the incident.
Federal government department-specific operations centres support their departmental roles and mandates and contribute to the integrated Government of Canada response through the GOC.
Some provincial ministries may have established working arrangements with their federal counterparts through, these departmental operations centres, in the event of an emergency.
Federal government emergency response and recovery activities in Ontario are managed by the Public Safety Canada Regional Office through the Federal Coordination Group. This is distinguished from the GOC, as the Federal Coordination Group focuses on activities within Ontario, and the GOC focuses on the whole federal government.
The Federal Coordination Group is chaired by Public Safety Canada’s (PS) Ontario Regional Director and is supported by the PS Ontario Regional Office.
The purpose of the Federal Coordination Group is to:
- Facilitate federal coordination.
- Provide the space and capacity for executive federal officials to assess an incident.
- Plan the overall strategy of federal actions in response and recovery.
- Receive strategic guidance and direction from senior/executive level decision makers via the GOC.
The Federal Coordination Group becomes the single point of contact between the PEOC and federal government operations during a major response within Ontario.
While it is preferred that the PEOC directly link with the Public Safety Regional Director/Office, in a rapidly evolving situation requiring urgent coordination, the PEOC may directly contact the GOC. The PEOC shall ensure that the PS Regional Director/Office is kept informed of communications with the GOC.
The PS Ontario Regional Office will, when required, send a Federal Liaison Officer to the PEOC. The Federal Liaison Officer should make reports at PEOC briefings on behalf of all federal departments.
The Province of Ontario, through the PEOC, provides emergency response assistance to First Nation communities through an agreement with the Government of Canada, as administered by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). ISC is the federal government department responsible for working with First Nations and the Province of Ontario on emergency management issues.
During an emergency, ISC provides advice and emergency assistance services within its mandate as requested by the affected province or territory. This is outlined in the ISC Emergency Management Assistance Program.
In the event of property or critical infrastructure damage on-reserve, ISC works with the band Chief and Council to assess the situation, determine the most effective way to repair damage and ensure ongoing program and service delivery to the community. ISC remains in contact with the First Nation until the situation has been thoroughly assessed and addressed.
The OFMEM and the PEOC maintain a close relationship with Joint Task Force Central (JTFC). JTFC is responsible for domestic military operations in Ontario. JTFC headquarters provides direct access to the Department of National Defence Headquarters and the Canadian Armed Forces.
The organization of the municipal structure for undertaking emergency response operations should be set out in municipal emergency response plans. This organizational structure may include but is not limited to the following centres, as required:
- Municipal emergency operation centre
- A facility where the municipal emergency control group (MECG) may assemble to manage an emergency. It must have appropriate technological and telecommunications systems to ensure effective communication in an emergency. Ontario Regulation 380/04 sets out the requirements for municipalities to have an EOC.
- Reception centre
- Reception centres are normally located outside the area of the emergency. They are a physical space to which evacuees can go to register, receive assistance for basic needs, information and referral to a shelter if required.
- Evacuee centre
- A facility to provide shelter, food and other emergency social services to a group of people who have been evacuated from an area.
- Emergency information centre
- A designated facility that is properly equipped to monitor and coordinate emergency public information activities, including the dissemination of information to the public.
During an emergency, the PEOC may deploy a provincial representative to the municipal EOC to act as a link between the two centres (refer to Section 6.8.1).
Similar to a municipality, First Nation communities would first respond locally to an emergency, however, the people doing emergency coordination can vary. Typically, either the fire chief and/or a dedicated emergency manager will coordinate emergency response and recovery, and the Chief and Council will provide strategic direction.
During an emergency, a First Nation can link with the PEOC directly for support, or through a Tribal Council or Provincial Territorial Organization.
Many, but not all, First Nations in Ontario belong to Tribal Councils. Tribal councils are groupings of First Nations with common interests who voluntarily joined together to provide services to their members.
The roles of Tribal Councils for emergency response and recovery can vary depending on the arrangements with their member First Nations. A Tribal Council can act as a coordinator between member First Nations. Tribal Councils can also provide a link between member First Nations and the PEOC and ISC.
Many First Nations in Ontario are affiliated with larger groups called Provincial Territorial Organizations (PTO). Many Tribal Councils are also members of the PTOs.
The PTOs in Ontario are:
- The Union of Ontario Indians (Anishinabek Nation).
- Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI).
- Grand Council Treaty #3.
- Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
As with Tribal Councils, a PTO may act as a coordinator between member First Nations, or as a coordinator between member First Nations and the PEOC and ISC.
Unincorporated communities are not required by the EMCPA or O.Reg. 380/04 to have a person or organization to coordinate emergency management activities. During emergency situations, the PEOC should reach out to unincorporated communities on an as-and-when-needed basis. There may be existing lines of reporting to provincial employees that can be leveraged in this reach-out (e.g., through the Office of the Fire Marshal to contact fire fighters under the Northern Fire Protection Program).
There are many other organizations in Ontario outside of communities and the provincial ERO that can be involved in emergency response and recovery. These organizations may include:
- Agencies, boards, and commissions that have not been designated under the EMCPA.
- Critical infrastructure owners / operators.
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
- Other provinces and/or states.
Where these organizations have a direct relationship with a ministry that is actively involved in the emergency, that ministry may act as the link with the overall provincial ERO. Where there are no clear relationships, or where it is otherwise necessary to expedite information sharing and coordination, the PEOC may act as the link to the provincial ERO.
Any member of the provincial ERO that is involved in a response may identify a supporting organization to be linked with the provincial ERO. At the discretion of the PEOC Commander, the PEOC will then be responsible for ensuring that these organizations are included in coordination and information sharing activities.
The Provincial Emergency Response Plan (PERP) recognizes two progressive and overlapping operational phases: response and recovery.
These phases are consistent with description provided in the planning basis (section 3). Each of the response phase and recovery phase have distinct purposes, characterized by their associated strategic objectives, as follows:
Response phase: The aim of measures taken during response is to ensure that a controlled, coordinated, and effective response is quickly undertaken at the outset of the emergency to minimize its impact on public safety.
Recovery phase: The aim of measures taken during recovery is to assist individuals, businesses and communities to return to a state of normalcy. The PERP focuses on recovery only where it overlaps with response.
These concepts can also be represented graphically, shown in Figure 6-1.
While the focus of the provincial emergency response organization (provincial ERO) is on response, it is recognized that recovery activities take place concurrently. Where there is an identified need for multi-organization coordination, the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) should lead provincial coordination of ongoing tasks regardless of whether they are considered to be response or recovery tasks.
Coordination of recovery operations by the PEOC should continue until such time there is no further need for coordination between provincial ministries, all tasks are completed, or overall coordination can be transferred to another organization with jurisdiction and capacity to take on the coordination role.
Provincial officials with roles reflected in this PERP are responsible for familiarizing themselves and their personnel with the contents of the PERP, and for developing procedures for carrying out their responsibilities.
The Government of Ontario’s emergency response is guided by ministry emergency plans and the PERP. Guidance on what should be addressed by each ministry in their emergency plans are included in Appendix G. Ministry emergency plans should be supported by procedures to be used during response.
Where the Government of Ontario is responding to a type of emergency that is assigned by Order in Council (OIC) 1157/2009, the ministry that has been assigned responsibility for that type of emergency is considered the lead ministry. The lead ministry is responsible for enacting the ministry’s emergency response plan for the assigned type of emergency. The PEOC is responsible for coordinating response activities between ministries and other provincial organizations, in line with the OIC assignment to the Solicitor General of “any emergency that requires the coordination of provincial emergency management”.
It is important to note that assignment of specific responsibilities to ministries does not remove or supersede existing community or organizational responsibilities. Where ministries are responding to an emergency within their mandate, communities retain their responsibilities for emergency management.
Once an emergency occurs, any ministry may be expected to provide assistance. Assistance may include the provision of advice, personnel, equipment, supplies and other resources to assist in dealing with an emergency.
Ministry activities during response may include:
- Responding to requests for emergency assistance from communities or other organizations impacted by an emergency.
- Reporting of all such requests to senior officials within their ministry.
- Committing the resources, capabilities, and expertise necessary to deal with emergencies.
- Coordinating with other emergency response organizations.
- Taking actions upon the issuance of an emergency order by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGIC) or a delegate under section 7.0.2 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).
The PEOC is responsible for coordinating a joint response between several ministries. This may include coordinating the deployment of provincial staff to work with affected communities to assist and liaise with staff in the field. Each ministry is ultimately responsible for the deployment and direction of their own staff. The PEOC works to share requests for assistance, identify needs for deployed staff, and ensure that when staff are deployed from multiple provincial organizations that their activities are coordinated between each other.
If public alerting is required during an emergency, the PEOC shall use the provincial public alerting system, which includes the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination (NAAD) system and Alert Ready, the national wireless public alerting system. Alert Ready delivers critical and potentially life-saving alerts to Canadians through television, radio and LTE-connected and compatible wireless devices.
The PEOC is the authority in Ontario for issuing alerts through Alert Ready. The PEOC shall maintain a 24/7 capability to operate the Alert Ready system on behalf of communities and provincial organizations in Ontario.
Any organization that identifies a need for public alerting should contact the PEOC. The OFMEM shall develop and maintain a protocol for communities to request the PEOC to initiate a public alert.
In the absence of an emergency, the provincial response level is always at a state of Routine Monitoring (see section 6.5 for more details on activation levels).
The PEOC shall constantly monitor various sources of information for potential emergencies in the province. Other ministries may monitor for emergencies according to their own emergency response plans.
In some cases, prior warning may come from outside organizations that have access to scientific/technical methods of predicting floods, forest fires, and severe weather, or from intelligence and threat risk assessment operations. Where reliable prediction is possible, action can be taken before the onset of an emergency. The PEOC should disseminate any information regarding the emergency it receives to the appropriate stakeholders.
For more details on the PEOC’s information management process, see Section 6.9.
The Chief, EMO shall, through the PEOC, maintain a 24/7 reporting point that at a minimum has the capability to receive notifications via phone, email, or fax. In the event of a widespread telecommunications failure, the PEOC shall also maintain an amateur radio station to be used for notifications once the amateur radio emergency service (ARES) has been activated.
Refer to Section 6.10.2 for further information on PEOC telecommunications capabilities.
Potential and actual emergencies requiring the coordination of activities between multiple provincial organizations should be reported promptly to the PEOC by the fastest means available. Notwithstanding the above general requirement, communities should, and ministries shall notify the PEOC in any of the following instances:
- A municipal emergency operations centre is activated.
- A ministry emergency operations centre is activated.
- An emergency occurs that would exceed a community’s capacity to respond. For the purposes of notification, a community’s capacity includes any existing mutual assistance agreements.
- An emergency occurs that requires more than one ministry to respond.
- An emergency occurs that would create significant financial impact on the community(ies) in question.
- An emergency occurs that may generate significant public or media interest (including social media).
When notified by a community, organization, or ministry of an actual or potential emergency, the PEOC determines the appropriate provincial response level, as described in the next section (6.5).
The provincial ERO responds to emergencies or potential emergencies according to three levels of operational response, referred to as the provincial response level. The provincial response level reflects the overall need for a multi-ministry response on behalf of the province.
The provincial response level is not the activation level for each ministry or other provincial organization. The ministries will activate based on the criteria in their own emergency plans. Ministries may use different activation systems and terminology than is used in the PERP to guide their response.
The PEOC Commander is responsible for making a decision to raise or lower the provincial response level.
The PEOC, as the core of the provincial ERO, adopts the provincial response level as its own activation level.
The three provincial response levels are routine monitoring, enhanced monitoring, and activation (shown in Figure 6-2).
The provincial response level adopted will depend upon the severity of the emergency and the appropriate type and level of staffing required to monitor and/or respond. The PEOC Commander may direct a move from any activation level to any other activation level. For example, in fast-developing emergencies, the PEOC Commander may decide to immediately change the provincial response level to activation.
22.214.171.124. Routine monitoring
This is the default provincial response level. The PEOC shall continually monitor the province for potential or actual emergencies through the 24/7 Duty Officers and Duty Team.
At routine monitoring:
- The PEOC may be staffed with additional personnel where the Duty Team requires assistance.
- Ministries and other organizations are not expected to dispatch liaisons to the PEOC at this level.
- The Communications Branch, Ministry of the Solicitor General will also be notified of events that receive or are likely to receive significant media attention.
- The PEOC may also begin distributing event-specific information products, as required (section 6.9.2).
126.96.36.199. Enhanced monitoring
All activities that are carried out at routine monitoring will continue to be carried out at enhanced monitoring.
Enhanced monitoring is for emergencies that require some coordination, planning, and/or monitoring activities, but do not require a full provincial response. This typically means some combination of:
- A need to conduct contingency planning for a situation where a request for provincial assistance is anticipated.
- A need to pre-position resources.
- A need to coordinate between a small number of communities, ministries or other key stakeholders.
When the PEOC first adopts enhanced monitoring, the PEOC Commander shall:
- Notify partner organizations of the change in the provincial response level.
- Set an operational period for the provincial ERO.
- Initiate the development of the incident action plan (section 188.8.131.52).
- Begin conducting regular event coordination briefings (section 184.108.40.206).
At enhanced monitoring:
- The PEOC should be staffed with a limited number of personnel according to the needs of the event.
- The PEOC may request that ministries and other organizations that are directly involved in the response send liaisons to the PEOC.
- The PEOC may coordinate the deployment of provincial staff to liaise with communities, depending on the needs of the situation.
- The Provincial Emergency Information Section (PEIS), or components of it, may be activated, at the direction of the Provincial Chief Emergency Information Officer.
- PEOC shall also begin distributing event-specific information products (section 6.9.2).
All activities that are carried out at routine and enhanced monitoring will continue to be carried out at activation.
Activation is for emergencies that require a coordinated response across many provincial organizations and communities. Additional activities at activation include:
- The PEOC should be staffed as necessary to carry out assessments of the situation, to initiate response activities and to coordinate the ongoing provincial operations.
- The PEOC should request that ministries and other organizations that are directly involved in the response send liaisons to the PEOC.
- The PEOC should deploy additional provincial staff to liaise with communities.
- The PEIS shall be activated.
Any provincial organizations not yet directly involved in the response should monitor PEOC information products, and be prepared to respond if required.
|Indicators for escalation*||PEOC activities||PEOC staffing|
Routine watch and warning activities
About 3-7 personnel
All activities from “Routine Monitoring” and:
About 8-16 personnel
All activities from "Enhanced Monitoring” and:
More than 16 personnel
*The PEOC Commander may move from any response level to any other response level. For example, in fast-developing emergencies, the PEOC commander may decide to immediately adopt “Activation”.
In situations where the province is managing multiple emergencies at once, the PEOC Commander should direct adoption of a provincial response level according to the total coordination needs of all active emergencies.
Provincial and municipal officials can initiate an emergency response in accordance with their emergency plans, procedures, and other legislated responsibilities without a declaration of emergency under the EMCPA.
An official declaration of emergency does not need to be made if normal powers and procedures will suffice.
Declarations of emergency are not required to request aid from the provincial ERO.
The legal authority for making and terminating municipal declarations of emergency is set out in the EMCPA. A municipal declaration of emergency allows the head of a municipality to make orders that they feel are necessary to protect property and the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants, as long as the orders are not contrary to law.
Municipal councils have the authority and responsibility to make municipal declarations of emergency within the boundaries of their municipality.
Municipal heads of council, or a majority of municipal council, have the authority to terminate a municipally declared emergency within the boundaries of their municipality at any time.
The Premier of Ontario has the authority to terminate any municipal declarations of emergency at any time.
If the head of council of a municipality makes a municipal declaration of emergency, they are required to notify the Solicitor General as per subsection 4. (3) of the EMCPA. The notification should be in the form of a phone call followed by a written notification via email or fax to the PEOC. This notification may be performed by a delegate of the head of council (often the CEMC).
The LGIC has the authority and responsibility to make a provincial declaration of emergency, subject to the criteria set out in the EMCPA. Appendix E describes the process, key steps, and criteria that must be followed.
If the urgency of the situation requires that an emergency order be made immediately, a provincial declaration of emergency may be made by the Premier in the absence of the LGIC. An urgent provincial declaration of emergency by the Premier is automatically terminated after 72 hours unless confirmed by the LGIC.
A provincial declaration of emergency may include the Province of Ontario in its entirety or any portion or area thereof. A declaration of emergency should define an emergency area. The size of the emergency area to be designated should be sufficiently large to ensure public safety while also avoiding the unnecessary disruption to business and public and private activities.
A provincial declaration of emergency and any orders made under it do not apply to First Nations reserves, as they are not subject to the EMCPA.
220.127.116.11. Identifying the need to declare
Ministries should identify the need to make a provincial declaration of emergency and make emergency orders for subjects within their mandate, following the criteria set out in the EMCPA. If this requirement exists, the responsible minister should advise the Premier and the LGIC. Ministries should advise the PEOC if a recommendation has been made to the Premier or LGIC.
The PEOC is responsible for advising the LGIC – via the reporting chain described in Section 4 – of any need for a provincial declaration of emergency.
Municipalities may identify a need for emergency orders to be made to support their response efforts (for example, to support a mandatory evacuation). Municipalities should communicate this need to the PEOC. The PEOC shall work with the other ministries as outlined above to notify the LGIC of a need to declare in order to support the municipality.
Once a provincial declaration of emergency has been made, the LGIC has the power to make emergency orders and may delegate these powers to a Minister or to the Commissioner of Emergency Management. All emergency orders must be consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Provincial emergency orders are only applicable to municipalities and unorganized communities in Ontario. They are not applicable to First Nation communities on reserve.
A Minister to whom powers have been delegated may further delegate any of his or her powers to the Commissioner of Emergency Management.
Emergency orders are only made if they are necessary and essential, would alleviate harm or damage, and are a reasonable alternative to other measures. The orders must only apply to the areas where they are necessary and should be effective for only as long as is necessary.
As specified in the EMCPA 7.0.2. (4), emergency orders may be made in respect to the following:
- Implementing any emergency plans formulated under section 3, 6, 8 or 8.1 of the EMCPA.
- Regulating or prohibiting travel or movement in a specified area.
- Evacuating individuals and animals and removing personal property from any specified area and making arrangements for the adequate care and protection of individuals and property.
- Establishing facilities for the care, welfare, safety and shelter of individuals, including emergency shelters and hospitals.
- Closing any place, whether public or private, including any business, office, school, hospital or other establishment or institution.
- To prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of the emergency, constructing works, restoring necessary facilities and appropriating, using, destroying, removing or disposing of property.
- Collecting, transporting, storing, processing and disposing of any type of waste.
- Authorizing facilities, including electrical generating facilities, to operate as is necessary.
- Using any necessary goods, services and resources within any part of Ontario, distributing, and making available necessary goods, services and resources and establishing centres for their distribution.
- Procuring necessary goods, services and resources.
- Fixing prices for necessary goods, services and resources and prohibiting charging unconscionable prices in respect of necessary goods, services and resources.
- Authorizing, but not requiring, any person to render services of a type that that person, or a person of that class, is reasonably qualified to provide.
- Subject to EMCPA subsection 7.0.2 (7), requiring that any person collect, use, or disclose information that in the opinion of the LGIC may be necessary in order to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of the emergency.
- Consistent with the powers authorized in this subsection, taking such other actions or implementing such other measures as the LGIC considers necessary in order to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of the emergency.
An order made by the LGIC or a Minister is revoked 14 days after it is made unless it is revoked sooner. An order made by the Commissioner of Emergency Management is revoked at the end of the second full day following its making unless it is confirmed before that time by order of the LGIC, the Premier, or the Minister who delegated the power to make the order. Orders may be extended by the LGIC for no more than 14 days after the termination of the provincial declaration of emergency.
Appendix E contains a detailed description of the emergency order process and criteria.
18.104.22.168. Reporting to the public during a provincial declaration of emergency
During a provincial declaration of emergency, the Premier, or a Minister to whom the Premier delegates the responsibility, is required to regularly report to the public with respect to the emergency.
22.214.171.124. Termination of a provincial declaration of emergency
The LGIC may terminate a provincial declaration of emergency at any time.
A provincial declaration of emergency made by the LGIC lasts for 14 days unless terminated. This declaration can be renewed for one further period of 14 days as long as it continues to meet the requirements laid out in the EMCPA.
The Legislative Assembly may, by resolution, extend the length of a provincial declaration of emergency for additional periods of no more than 28 days for as many times as required.
A provincial declaration of emergency made by the Premier lapses after 72 hours unless confirmed by the LGIC.
First Nations can declare emergencies that trigger the bilateral agreement for emergency response between Ontario and Canada. An emergency declaration from a First Nation does not have any direct links to provincial or federal legislation. Indigenous Services Canada typically requires a band council resolution be made to declare the emergency, but they may verbally declare an emergency if experiencing a telephone or power outage with a band council resolution to follow.
First Nations are advised to notify the PEOC when an emergency declaration is made. The notification should be in the form of a phone call followed by a written notification via email or fax to the PEOC.
The PEOC shall respond to a declaration of an emergency in a First Nation the same way it would respond to a municipal declaration.
Unincorporated communities living in an unorganized territory may advise the PEOC if a provincial declaration of emergency is needed to support their response activities.
The PEOC is responsible for working with the ministries to make recommendations to the LGIC if a provincial declaration of emergency is required in an unorganized territory. The process for the provincial declaration of emergency and powers described in Appendix E will then apply.
A community, organization, or ministry may identify a need for provincial assistance for a number of reasons, including:
- A community requires more support than is available under their existing mutual aid/assistance agreements.
- A provincial ministry leading a response under their assigned responsibilities identifies a need for additional support.
- Any stakeholder identifies additional activities that need provincial coordination.
Communities, organizations, and ministries can request emergency assistance from a provincial organization without dealing with the PEOC where there is an existing link. Requests may be directed to the PEOC where there is no clear relationship for making a request for provincial assistance or where it is unclear to the requestor which provincial organization would have the ability to provide the requested support.
First Nations requesting assistance from the PEOC should include Indigenous Services Canada on the request.
The PEOC considers the alignment of requests for assistance with the capability or scope of the agencies within the provincial ERO and works to develop a reply. Where the request is for resources or capabilities belonging to another ministry or other member of the provincial ERO, the decision to deploy resources is ultimately made by that organization.
The PEOC shall coordinate requests for assistance by:
- Working with the requestor to identify and describe the resources and/or capabilities needed.
- Working with the ministries and other provincial organizations to identify sources for the needed
resources or capabilities, with considerations for:
- Effectiveness in achieving the objective.
- Existing arrangements (including liability and WSIB protection).
- Identifying length-of deployment conditions.
A request from the Government of Ontario to the federal government to provide support for emergency response and recovery efforts shall be formalized through a request for assistance (RFA). All such requests for federal assistance from communities or ministries shall be made through the PEOC.
Prior to issuing an RFA, the PEOC must confirm that no other suitable resources are available. Once confirmed, the PEOC will initiate the RFA through the Public Safety Canada (PS) Ontario Regional Office /Regional Director.
This process can begin informally with a telephone request from an elected official to the Minister of Public Safety, but must then be followed by a formal RFA between the Ontario Solicitor General (or another appropriate Minister) and the federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. An RFA should clearly describe the desired effect or outcome intended by the PEOC, and should include any applicable tasks that need to be fulfilled, as well as disengagement or termination criteria. This will allow PS to identify and assess the most appropriate resources and capacity. The request should clearly indicate that no other suitable resources are available to fill the needs described in the request.
The PS Ontario Regional Director is the primary agent responsible for the receipt of provincial requests for assistance. The PS Ontario Regional Director is required to support the provinces and territories with the development and routing of these requests, lead the Federal Coordination Group to identify federal assets which may be available to assist the Province and liaise with the Government Operations Centre to expedite the federal response. The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has the ultimate authority for approving RFAs.
When federal assistance may be required, the PEOC should have preliminary discussions with the PS Ontario Regional Office to determine what federal assets would be available for the particular emergency. The Federal Coordination Group will determine if there are other assets in the region or nationally that could meet the required need.
Ontario is also a signatory to two major mutual assistance agreements specifically designed for emergency management support:
- The Canadian Council of Emergency Management Organizations (CCEMO) Emergency Management Mutual
Assistance (EMMA) agreement.
- Includes all Canadian provinces and territories.
- Northern Emergency Management Assistance Compact (NEMAC) agreement
- Includes Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Alberta, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Indiana.
In addition to these agreements, out-of-province requests for assistance can also be coordinated through Public Safety Canada to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, or other international emergency management agencies.
Provincial organizations and ministries should administer mutual assistance agreements within their own authorities to support their emergency response and recovery activities.
Example: The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry works with the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) to share forest fire fighting resources under the Canadian Interagency Mutual Aid Resources Sharing (MARS) Agreement.
126.96.36.199. International assistance concerns
Organizations making requests for assistance from outside of Canada should be aware of potential challenges in bringing personnel and supplies across the border.
The Federal Coordination Centre can assist in liaising with the Canadian Border Services Agency to facilitate border crossings. In addition, there may be liability issues with personnel coming across the border related to licencing to practice certain professions, such as medicine and engineering. Of particular note is the travel of ambulances across borders, as they often carry restricted substances (drugs) that they may not be licenced to carry in Canada.
188.8.131.52. Making requests under NEMAC or CCEMO EMMA
The PEOC should coordinate out-of-province requests under NEMAC and CCEMO EMMA when required, and the needed resources or capabilities are not available in the province (through municipal or provincial assets, or existing mutual assistance agreements), or through the private sector. Ministries and municipalities should notify the PEOC when they need to make an out-of-province request for assistance that is not covered by their existing mutual assistance agreements.
Once a request is made, the supplying organization(s) will usually provide a cost estimate for the resources being requested. Where these cost estimates exceed delegated financial authorities, the PEOC should work to seek financial approvals, including seeking Treasury Board approval where required.
The PEOC is a facility designed to support coordination of emergency response between the organizations of the provincial ERO. The physical site enables the co-location of representatives from many organizations, and facilitates a collaborative approach to response.
184.108.40.206. Deployment of provincial staff to affected communities
At the community level, designated emergency response officials are responsible for the conduct of operations within their jurisdiction. In the initial stages of an emergency, the PEOC may communicate directly with community officials to offer advice and assistance as needed.
During an emergency, a provincial representative may be deployed to a community as a liaison, to provide emergency management support and advice. The PEOC is responsible for coordinating the deployment of the provincial representative. This representative will frequently be an OFMEM Field Officer, but depending on the scale of emergency additional staff may be requested from within the provincial ERO.
The provincial representative will not direct any community response or recovery activities, nor make decisions regarding assistance provided to the community. Advice and assistance at this level typically involves:
- Facilitating contact with ministry offices where normal community/provincial linkages are not available (for example outside of normal business hours).
- Initiating a request for provincial assistance.
- Canvassing other communities to identify resources that might be made available.
If a provincial representative has been deployed to a community EOC, the PEOC shall communicate with that community through the deployed OFMEM representative.
In circumstances where multiple communities are simultaneously affected by the emergency, it may not be operationally feasible to deploy a provincial representative to each community. Priority will be given to deploy a provincial representative to an upper tier municipality (if it exists), where the upper tier municipality serves as a conduit of information for lower tier municipalities.
Where no upper tier municipality exists, or where it is not possible to deploy additional provincial staff to each affected community, the PEOC shall deploy the provincial representative to a central location. From this location the provincial representative will facilitate liaison and support to multiple communities.
The purpose of an event coordination briefing is to provide a forum for sharing information between multiple responding organizations simultaneously, to:
- Update on the current situation.
- Update on major tasks undertaken by each organization.
- Discuss new and ongoing risks.
- Identify potential conflicts.
- Identify new support needs.
Event coordination briefings shall be chaired by the PEOC Commander or their delegate.
Event coordination briefings should include representatives from each organization that is actively participating in the provincial ERO, as well as any other organizations that need to be included for situational awareness.
The PEOC shall hold event coordination briefings at a minimum of once per operational cycle.
Organizations involved in emergency response and recovery should have their own briefings internally and with their own stakeholders as required, outside the PEOC event coordination briefings. The PEOC event coordination briefings should not be used to replace internal briefings for participating organizations.
The event coordination briefing is not a forum to solve problems. Once an issue is identified, it should be tasked to one or more organizations and taken offline.
The PEOC shall produce an IMS 1001 Incident Action Plan (IAP) for each operational period that outlines the response coordination strategy adopted by the provincial ERO. The IAP should describe the objectives, strategies, and tactics to be implemented by the provincial ERO over the next operational period to address the ongoing emergency.
The PEOC Commander shall approve IAPs for the provincial ERO.
The PEOC’s IAP informs but does not replace the planning documents of individual emergency organizations.
In addition to the IAP, the PEOC also produces dedicated products for information sharing, described in Section 6.9.2.
The National Emergency Response System (NERS) provides for the harmonization of joint federal, provincial and territorial response to domestic emergencies. It describes emergency response interactions and linkages between individual provinces and Public Safety Canada. It lays out key principles for joint coordination.
The OFMEM will be responsible for liaison, on a routine basis, with the staff of the Public Safety Canada (PS) Ontario Regional Office regarding emergency situations and ongoing planning activities.
If a municipal, First Nations, or provincial emergency occurs that requires assistance from federal authorities, the PEOC will be responsible for coordinating the response with the PS Ontario Regional Office / Federal Coordination Centre. When the provincial response level is raised to enhanced monitoring or activation, the PEOC Commander or designate may request a Federal Liaison Officer from the PS Ontario Regional Office to attend the PEOC. The Federal Liaison Officer to the PEOC will normally be from the PS Regional Office. The PS representative will normally make reports at PEOC briefings on behalf of all federal departments who do not have representation at the PEOC.
In certain situations, the federal government may request the deployment of provincial staff to assist in a federal emergency. In such instances, the PEOC may work with the ministries or other provincial organizations to coordinate the deployment of provincial staff. The PEOC shall ensure that the Federal Coordination Centre is informed of its activities.
220.127.116.11. Coordination of deployed federal assistance
As federal department assistance is being provided to the province, federal activities will be coordinated and prioritized by the PEOC in consultation with the Federal Coordination Group and the PS Ontario Regional Office.
The PEOC and PS Ontario Regional Office / Federal Coordination Group, along with the applicable federal department(s) shall establish the parameters of the deployment of federal assistance, based on the needs of the emergency. This should include consideration for:
- The assignment of federal assets to emergency response or recovery tasks, taking into account the number of personnel and specialized capabilities required.
- The deployment of a federal liaison officer(s) to community EOC(s) to coordinate federal deployments.
Deployed federal assets should work with the communities being supported to direct activities, in accordance with the parameters set by the PEOC and Federal Coordination Group.
Where multiple communities are impacted by an incident, the PEOC will triage requests from communities in consultation with subject matter experts based on the severity of the threat and available resources. When federal resources are activated they will always operate in support of provincially-led efforts, responsive to and in cooperation with the PEOC. Federal involvement will cease as soon as the emergency situation no longer requires the assistance of the federal, as stated in the letter of agreement.
The PEOC continuously monitors incoming and outgoing information to ensure the most accurate situational awareness possible.
Information for use as situational awareness can be obtained through various means, and includes, but is not limited to, information related to the:
- Status of the event (locations, photographs, videos, confirmation of verbal reports, Geospatial Information Systems (GIS)/geoinformatics, etc.).
- Status of deployed resources (locations, operational cycles, liaison contacts, etc.).
- Status of future operations (challenges, potential gaps or perceived shortfalls).
Within the PEOC, all staff, including deployed liaisons, are responsible for:
- Tracking tasks assigned to them, and following up with responsible parties, to maintain accurate situational awareness.
- Maintaining logs of activities performed to ensure continuity of operations across all staff performing that function or role.
- Authenticating operational information, to the fullest extent possible, prior to passing it on to other PEOC staff.
Liaisons to the PEOC are additionally responsible for:
- Gathering pertinent information from their respective organizations or jurisdictions, collating it, and sharing it with PEOC staff and other stakeholders (as appropriate).
The PEOC shall have a process in place, as defined in the PEOC Operating Procedures, for sharing the information with all PEOC staff.
Key information collected, confirmed, and analysed through the PEOC information management process should be shared through the PEOC event coordination briefings (Section 18.104.22.168).
The PEOC is responsible for disseminating information products within the PEOC and to emergency management stakeholders. The PEOC is also responsible for providing information to ministries and communities not directly involved in the emergency response regarding the province’s response to the emergency.
Depending on the situation, there are various information products that the PEOC will develop and disseminate to relevant emergency organizations (Figure 6-3).
At all provincial response levels, the PEOC develops a daily situation report that consolidates any relevant information on potential or actual threats and on-going emergencies in the Province. The PEOC disseminates this information product to emergency management stakeholders on a daily basis.
At the onset of an emergency the PEOC shall produce and disseminate an IMS 201 Incident Briefing document to provide a summary of the emergency event and initial response to the provincial ERO. The IMS 201 Incident Briefing document is only produced once for each incident. Thereafter, the PEOC shall produce and disseminate an IMS 209 Incident Status Summary to provide updates on the situation to the provincial ERO.
The PEOC prepares an IMS 1001 Incident Action Plan (IAP) for each operational period to summarize the intended objectives and strategies for that particular operational period. Refer to Section 22.214.171.124 for requirements regarding IAPs.
A PEOC information product (whether an IMS 201 Incident Briefing or IMS 209 Incident Status Summary) shall be produced and shared at least once per operational period. Information products can be developed and disseminated more frequently at the discretion of the PEOC Commander.
Other information products (e.g., maps) will be developed and shared by the PEOC and other organizations within the provincial ERO as required.
It is the responsibility of all PEOC staff and emergency management stakeholders to protect and disseminate sensitive information in a manner that will prevent security and privacy breaches, and protect sources.
It is the responsibility of the “owner” of information to follow those procedures as are required by law in order to secure and protect information prior to sharing with stakeholders.
It is the responsibility of all recipients of information to protect it in accordance with its classification and to use it only for its intended purpose.
All information that is created by or passes through provincial organizations, including the PEOC, is subject to Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Personal health information is protected by the Personal Health Information Protection Act. Other organizations involved in response and recovery may be subject to their own similar legislation (for example, municipalities are subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act).
Information technology is equipment or systems for storing, receiving, sending, and processing information. These systems can consist of a wide range of methods, devices, and processes, including, but not limited to: fixed and mobile phones, computers, databases, instant messaging systems, voice/video calls, and specialized emergency management software.
Communities and ministries that employ information technologies should work with their IT service providers to conduct regular inspections and tests to confirm functionality and readiness of these systems. IT systems should have redundant power supplies appropriate to their use (e.g., uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for critical server systems to prevent data loss; standby generators for building power, etc.).
Telecommunications systems are a subset of information technology. They are used to transmit and/or receive messages over a distance. Telecommunications systems include radio systems (including microwave), fibre optics, satellites, and the internet.
Ministry and community emergency plans should describe how their emergency centres are linked via primary and backup telecommunication systems that enable email and transfer of emergency public information. This type of information should be contained in confidential annexes to prevent its misuse.
Communities and municipalities should establish primary and backup lines of communication between their emergency operations centres and the PEOC.
The Chief, EMO through the OFMEM shall maintain the PEOC with appropriate telecommunications systems to ensure effective communication in an emergency. This should include at a minimum:
- Internet access.
- OPS intranet access.
- Redundant telephone systems.
- Multiple teleconference lines.
- Web-conferencing capability.
The OFMEM should ensure that there is sufficient mobile network coverage in the PEOC to allow representatives from other organizations to use mobile phones and other devices.
For redundancy in telecommunications, the PEOC should maintain an amateur radio station (currently designated VA3 EMO) that is operated by trained amateur radio operators from the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC). The PEOC amateur radio station is used to communicate with other volunteer radio operators throughout the province, through the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES).
The PEOC operates the AlertReady wireless public alerting system. Refer to section 6.3 for further details on public alerting.
Donations in an emergency can include services, funds, and material. Managing donations includes collecting, storing, dispensing, and accounting of donations.
Organizations should exercise care around handling financial donations to ensure that proper accounting controls are in place to prevent fraud and ensure that all applicable laws are followed.
Communities, as the first line of response to an emergency, should make arrangements to identify what types of donations may be needed and then put in place a mechanism to manage them. This may be accomplished by setting up a special team as part of the community’s emergency response organization or requesting support from a non-governmental organization (NGO).
There are various NGOs operating in Ontario that often have the capability to manage donations (funds, volunteers or material). These organizations can provide services such as helping to collect, triage, identify, package, temporarily store, transport, and distribute various types of donations.
Communities should make agreements with NGOs to access donations management services directly. The OFMEM maintains a relationship with the NGO Alliance of Ontario, and through this relationship the PEOC can assist communities in finding an NGO to provide services.
The Provincial Emergency Information Section should assist communities in communicating with the public about their donations programs, particularly with consideration for managing donations coming from outside the community. Refer to Section 6.15 for more information on emergency public information.
Ministries, communities and infrastructure owners/operators in Ontario are responsible for conducting their own damage assessments.
The PEOC depends on communities, supporting organizations, and the field operations of other ministries to provide information on the extent of the damage within the province.
Organizations involved in response and recovery should carefully consider their need for, and the capabilities of, unaffiliated volunteer assistance during an emergency. As part of their planning, organizations should consult with legal counsel and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to ensure that volunteers receive the proper insurance coverage.
Organizations that are using volunteers should systematically register all those who participate in the emergency response or recovery operations.
Any emergency that affects humans may affect their animals whether these are raised for foodstuff production, kept as companion or service animals or for other purposes, such as in zoos.
Of particular concern is the protection and care of animals during an evacuation. Pursuant to Section 7.0.2. (4) of the EMCPA, provincial evacuation orders can include animals under a provincial declaration of emergency.
Communities in Ontario should make provisions for the protection and care of all animals as mentioned above, including those left behind during an evacuation.
Communities should consult with the following provincial organizations for assistance in developing plans for the protection and care of animals:
- The Ministry of the Solicitor General (SOLGEN) has the responsibility of overseeing animal welfare in Ontario.
- The Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), is the provincial lead on farm animal disease (OIC 1157/2009), and provides advice on the management of livestock welfare issues.
- The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) for issues pertaining to wildlife.
During an emergency, the PEOC should provide assistance to the stakeholders above as required for the protection and care of animals.
The guiding principle for emergency public information operations shall be to provide to the general public and to the news media prompt, accurate, and timely information on the status of the emergency, the measures being taken to deal with it, and actions to be taken by the public in response.
Each ministry is responsible for having its own emergency information officer who is responsible for acting as the primary media and public contact during an emergency. Each emergency information officer manages emergency public information as it pertains to their ministry’s activities, mandates, and assignments under OIC 1157/2009.
Coordination of emergency public information during an emergency involving multiple provincial organizations should be carried out in accordance with the Provincial Emergency Information Plan (PEIP) 2010, developed by the Communications Branch, Ministry of the Solicitor General. The Provincial Chief Emergency Information Officer (PCEIO) is responsible for the implementation of the PEIP.
The PEIP describes the means by which prompt and coordinated information from the Ontario government is disseminated to the public, media, Members of the Provincial Parliament, other levels of government, Ontario ministries, emergency response organizations, and when appropriate, private sector organizations.
The PCEIO shall work with the PEOC to ensure that emergency public information on the status of the emergency, the measures being taken to mitigate it, and actions to be taken by the public in response is accurate and provided in a timely manner, and to identify the lead spokesperson. Refer to Section 6.3 for more details on public alerting.
The PCEIO may dispatch provincial emergency public information liaison officers to local emergency information centre(s) as soon as the need for assistance arises.
Emergency public information tasks for the provincial ERO are coordinated through the Provincial Emergency Information Section (PEIS). The PCEIO is responsible for leading and activating the PEIS, in consultation with the PEOC Commander.
When active, the PEIS is responsible for coordinating the development of emergency information for the media and public at a provincial level, and for providing feedback to the PEOC.
The PCEIO is responsible for ensuring that emergency public information activities are coordinated between the PEIS and the emergency information officers of ministries that are active in the provincial ERO.
Information shall flow in both directions between PEOC Command and General Staff and the PEIS to ensure that Command-identified emergency public information issues are incorporated into the emergency public information messaging and that the PEOC is made aware of any issues that may affect the overall response.
The main functions of the PEIS include:
- Issue news releases and other public information products to the media on behalf of the province that describe the nature of the emergency and the measures that the province is taking to manage it.
- Coordinate news conferences on behalf of the province and provide supportive documents for provincial spokesperson(s).
- Monitor media, social media, and the public’s perception of, and reaction to, the situation and keep the PEOC Commander and local emergency information centre informed.
- Identify misinformation and counter it with verified and credible information.
- Provide key messages and information to activated call centres.
In emergencies where many organizations and jurisdictions are involved in the response every effort should be made to ensure that the information being developed is consistent in content and issued in a co-ordinated manner.
Municipalities are required under O.Reg. 380/04 to designate an emergency information officer. The PEIS should liaise with the municipal emergency information officer in affected communities.
The PEIS should establish links with the emergency public information staff in other organizations involved in response. Consideration should be given to establishing a Joint Information Centre, co-ordinated by the PCEIO, whenever the province adopts a provincial response level of activation.
Federal departments maintain public communications responsibilities with respect to their departmental activities unless otherwise directed by the federal Privy Council Office. Usually a federal lead department will be designated to be the federal spokesperson for the total federal support effort. Connection with federal departments can be facilitated through the PS Regional Office / Federal Coordination Centre.
The OFMEM shall maintain a continuity of operations plan as part of the overall provincial continuity of operations program. The continuity of operations plan should include detailed procedures for maintaining the continuity of services associated with both the PEOC and the Ministry of the Solicitor General EOC, and recovery strategies in the event there is a disruption to operations during an emergency.
As per OIC 1157/2009 and O.Reg. 380/04, ministries are required to have emergency plans that include continuity of operations planning.
An important aspect of any emergency is the accounting of expenditures. All provincial organizations involved in response and recovery activities shall maintain financial records during the response and recovery. Communities should also maintain detailed financial records to support any future claims.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) administers two programs that provide financial assistance following a sudden, unexpected, extraordinary natural disaster:
- The Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) program is a cost-recovery program that assists
homeowners, residential tenants, small owner-operated businesses, farmers and not-for-profit organizations
impacted by a natural disaster. The program is activated by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
for a defined geographic area where program eligible costly, widespread damage has occurred. A municipal
emergency declaration is not required to activate the program.
- MMAH coordinates a Provincial Disaster Assessment Team (PDAT). The purpose of a PDAT is to inform the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s decision to activate the DRAO program.
- A PDAT is deployed when additional information is required to inform a recommendation to the Minister of MMAH to activate DRAO. A PDAT focuses on impacts to private primary residences small businesses, small owner-operated farms, and not-for-profit organizations.
- The Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance (MDRA) program reimburses municipalities for extraordinary costs associated with emergency response and repairs to essential municipal property and infrastructure following a natural disaster. Municipalities must have incurred costs over and above regular budgets that can be demonstrably linked to the disaster. These costs must equal at least three per cent of the municipality’s Own Purpose Taxation levy. There are other eligibility requirements that a municipality must meet. A municipal emergency declaration is not required to activate the program.
On a federal level, Indigenous Services Canada has an Emergency Management Assistance Program that aims to help communities that are on-reserve access emergency assistance services. This is in partnership with First Nation communities, provincial and territorial governments and non-government organizations. In addition to emergency management assistance, the program also provides funding to provinces and non-government organizations to support on-reserve emergency management. The Emergency Management Assistance Program reimburses response and recovery activities due to emergencies.
Response organizations that will be recovering costs from the Government of Canada when supporting First Nations’ response operations should ensure that expenditures are valid and approved under their respective agreements. ISC representatives are available during emergency response to help determine the appropriateness of expenditures.
Under the provisions of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) and Order in Council (OIC) 1157/2009, every minister is responsible for conducting emergency management training programs and exercises to ensure the readiness of Crown employees and other persons to act under their respective ministry emergency plans.
Similarly, under the EMCPA all municipalities are responsible for conducting emergency management training programs and exercises to ensure the readiness of employees of the municipality and other persons to act under their municipal emergency response plan.
Members of each ministry action group and municipal emergency control group (MECG) shall complete the annual training determined by the Chief of Emergency Management Ontario (Chief, EMO).
The Chief, EMO shall develop and deliver PEOC-specific training for OFMEM staff and other provincial representatives who are expected to be deployed in the PEOC. The Chief, EMO may provide advice and assistance to ministers and municipalities for the development of their emergency management training programs.
Indigenous Services Canada is responsible for the development and delivery of training for First Nations on the development of emergency plans and other emergency preparedness activities.
The Provincial Emergency Response Plan (PERP) should be tested in an exercise on an annual basis.
The Chief, EMO is responsible for coordinating a risk-based comprehensive provincial exercise program, consisting of:
- Both doctrine and policy for developing an exercise program.
- Processes for programming, planning, conducting, evaluating, and reporting on exercises, as well as a corrective action program.
- A range of exercise activities of varying degrees of complexity and interaction.
Ministry action groups and municipal emergency control groups shall conduct an annual exercise for a simulated emergency incident in order to evaluate respective ministry and municipal emergency plans and procedures. (Section 3 (7), Ontario Regulation 380/04). If deemed necessary by the applicable ministry or municipality, following an exercise, ministries and municipalities should revise their procedures and emergency plans accordingly to incorporate post-exercise evaluations and after-action review feedback (Section 3 (8), Ontario Regulation 380/04).
The Chief, EMO shall conduct a provincial after-action review after any emergency that has the provincial response level raised to activation. Additionally, the Chief, EMO may direct a provincial after-action review be conducted after any emergency. A provincial after-action review should be completed within 6 months of the end of termination of response activities.
The purpose of a provincial-level after-action review is to examine the performance of provincial emergency response organization (provincial ERO) and the effectiveness of the PERP. It will focus on how the organizations worked with each other, rather than the individual performance of each organization. The review should collect information and feedback from every provincial organization that was active in the provincial ERO during the emergency.
The conduct of the after-action report shall be commensurate with the level of complexity and impact of the emergency, but could include any combination of the following:
- Documentation reviews (including logs, information products, emails, etc.).
- Online surveys.
- Workshops / facilitated group discussions with individuals and organizations who were involved during the emergency response.
- Interviews with individuals involved in the emergency response.
- Solicitation of written submissions from partner organizations.
This review should be focused on the whole-of-government response, and should include at a minimum consideration for:
- A timeline of how the emergency progressed.
- Key decisions made at the provincial level.
- An evaluation of the effectiveness of the PERP.
- Major gaps in provincial capabilities and any unaddressed liabilities or risks.
- Any best practices that should be carried forward.
After-action review reports should be shared with pertinent organizations for the purpose of self-improvement. Special consideration should be given to prevention, mitigation, and preparedness measures that can be implemented to improve provincial resilience.
The Chief, EMO, should share any lessons identified through after-action reports with emergency management stakeholders in Ontario to support their continuous improvement.
The Chief, EMO shall develop a corrective action / improvement plan to address gaps, best practices, and opportunities for improvement identified through these after-action reports.
The Chief, EMO shall administer a process to track and report on all corrective action / improvement plans, and report to stakeholders on an annual basis.
Each organization involved in emergency response should conduct after-action review reports focused on their own organization-specific response and their own emergency plans. All organizations should strive to share lessons from their after-action reviews with others who may benefit from it.
Recommendations specific to the PEOC and associated procedures are the responsibility of the Chief, EMO.
The EMCPA has requirements for the Premier and the Commissioner of Emergency Management to make reports based on any emergency orders that were made following the declaration of an emergency.
The Chief, EMO shall support the development of these reports where required, including providing detailed records from the PEOC as required.
- Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians
- Amateur Radio Emergency Service
- Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management
- Canadian Council of Emergency Management Organizations
- Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre
- Continuity of Operations Plan
- Corporate Response Centre
- Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontario
- Emergency Information Centre
- Emergency Management
- Emergency Management Assistance Program
- Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act
- Emergency Management Mutual Assistance
- Emergency Management Ontario
- Emergency Operations Centre
- Emergency Response Organization
- Geospatial Information System
- Government Operations Centre
- Hazardous Material
- Hazard Identification Risk Assessment
- Incident Action Plan
- Incident Management System
- Indigenous Services Canada
- Information Technology
- Joint Information Centre
- Joint Task Force Central
- Lieutenant Governor in Council
- Long Term Evolution
- Ministry of the Attorney General
(not used in the PERP due to conflict with “ministry action group”)
- Ministry Action Group
(not used in the PERP due to conflict with “Ministry of the Attorney General”)
- Mutual Aid Resources Sharing
- Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance
- Municipal Emergency Control Group
- Ministry Emergency Operations Centre
- Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Long-Term Care
- Ministry of Labour
- Ministry of Transportation, Ontario
- National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System
- Northern Emergency Management Assistance Compact
- National Emergency Response System
- Non-Governmental Organizations
- O. Reg.
- Ontario Regulation
- Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management
- Order in Council
- Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- Ontario Mass Evacuation Plan
- Ontario Public Service
- Provincial Disaster Assessment Team
- Provincial Emergency Information Plan
- Provincial Emergency Information Section
- Provincial Emergency Operations Centre
- Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan
- Public Safety Canada
- Provincial Territorial Organization
- Revised Statutes of Ontario
- Request For Assistance
- Statutes of Ontario
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
- Ministry of the Solicitor General
- Uninterruptible Power Supply
- United States
There is a need for common terminology that would be jointly understood by the public and private sectors. The following definitions and explanations will be helpful during the development and implementation process. The below definitions come from various sources, including the EMCPA and the Province of Ontario’s Emergency Management Glossary of Terms.
After action report (AAR): A report that documents the performance of tasks related to an emergency, exercise or planned event and, where necessary, makes recommendations for improvements. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Alternate service delivery location: A secondary physical location (other than the primary workplace) from which to deliver critical programs and services and to implement program recovery procedures. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear, explosive (CBRNE): This is an incident that involves a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and/or explosive situation that may require a response by specialized teams and equipment. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Communications: Advisories, directives, information and messages that are transmitted. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Community: A generic term referring to groups of residents at the local level, and includes municipalities, First Nations communities and groups of people in unorganized territories. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Consequence: The outcome of an event or situation expressed qualitatively or quantitatively, being a loss, injury or disadvantage. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Continuity of operations (COOP) plan: A plan developed and maintained to direct an organization’s internal response to an emergency. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Critical infrastructure: Interdependent, interactive, interconnected networks of institutions, services, systems and processes that meet vital human needs, sustain the economy, (protect public safety and security), and maintain continuity of and confidence in government. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Damage assessment: An appraisal or determination of the effects of a disaster on human, physical, economic, and natural resources. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Declaration of emergency: A signed declaration made in writing by the Head of Council or the Premier of Ontario in accordance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This declaration is usually based on a situation or an impending situation that threatens public safety, public health, the environment, critical infrastructure, property, and/or economic stability and exceeds the scope of routine community activity. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Municipal declaration of emergency: A declaration of emergency made by the Head of Council of a municipality, based on established criteria. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Provincial declaration of emergency: A declaration of emergency made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council or the Premier of Ontario, based on established criteria. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Disaster: A serious disruption to an affected area, involving widespread human, property, environmental and / or economic impacts, that exceed the ability of one or more affected communities to cope using their own resources. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program (DRAO): A provincial disaster financial assistance program which, when activated, supports individuals, small businesses, farmers and not-for-profit organizations that have experienced damage to or loss of essential property as a result of a natural disaster. For the purposes of the program, a disaster is a sudden, unexpected, extraordinary natural event that causes costly, widespread damage to eligible private property.
Emergency: A situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise. (Source: EMCPA).
Emergency area: the area in which an emergency exists. (Source: EMCPA).
Emergency control group (ECG): A group composed of senior staff and employees of an organization, and others that may be involved in directing that organization’s response to an emergency including, the implementation of its emergency response plans and procedures. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency information: Information about an emergency that can be disseminated in anticipation of an emergency or during an emergency. It may provide situational information or directive actions to be taken by the public. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary). The PERP uses emergency public information instead of emergency information for increased clarity.
Emergency information centre (EIC): A designated facility that is properly equipped to monitor and coordinate emergency public information activities including the dissemination of information to the public. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency information officer (EIO): An individual responsible for acting as the primary public and media contact for emergency public information requirements. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency management (EM): Organized activities undertaken to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from actual or potential emergencies. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency management program: A risk-based program consisting of prescribed elements that may include prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency management program coordinator (EMCP): A management team to oversee the development, implementation and maintenance of an emergency management program. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency management program committee: A management team to oversee the development, implementation and maintenance of an emergency management program. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency operations centre (EOC): A designated and appropriately equipped facility where officials from an organization(s) assemble to manage the response to an emergency or disaster. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency public information: see Emergency Information. The PERP uses emergency public information for increased clarity.
Emergency response: Coordinated public and private response to an emergency. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency response organization (ERO): A group (public, private or volunteer), trained in emergency response that may be called upon to respond to an emergency situation. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency response plan: A plan developed and maintained to direct an organization’s external and/or internal response to an emergency. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Epidemic: A widespread occurrence of a disease in a community at a particular time. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Evacuee centre: A facility to provide shelter, food and other services to a group of people who have been evacuated from an area.
Exercise: A simulated emergency in which players carry out actions, functions, and responsibilities that would be expected of them in a real emergency. Exercises can be used to validate plans and procedures, and to practice prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Government Operations Centre (GOC): The principal location from which subject matter experts and Federal Liaison Officers from federal government institutions, and non-governmental organizations, work collaboratively during an event affecting the national interest to provide an integrated Government of Canada response. Public Safety Canada and the GOC provides expertise in operations, situational awareness, risk assessment, planning, logistics, and finance and administration relevant to its coordination role in accordance with the Emergency Management Act and the Federal Emergency Response Plan (FERP). The FERP is designed to harmonize federal emergency response efforts with those of the provinces/territorial governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.
Hazard: A phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage. These may include natural, technological or human-caused incidents or some combination of these. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Hazard identification: A structured process for identifying those hazards which exist within a selected area and defining their causes and characteristics. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA) program: Provides information to support municipalities and Provincial ministries in the fulfilment of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, Sections 2.1 (3) and 5.1 (2).
Hazardous material (HazMat): A substance (gas, liquid or solid) capable of creating harm to people, property and the environment, e.g. materials which are flammable, toxic, etc. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Impact: The negative effect of a hazardous incident on people, property, the environment, the economy and/or services. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Incident action plan (IAP): Within IMS, an oral or written plan containing general objectives reflecting the overall strategy for managing an incident. It may include the identification of operational resources and assignments. It may also include attachments that provide direction and important information for management of the incident during one or more operational periods. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Incident Management System (IMS): A standardized approach to emergency management encompassing personnel, facilities, equipment, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure. The IMS is predicated on the understanding that in any and every incident there are certain management functions that must be carried out regardless of the number of persons who are available or involved in the emergency response. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Lower-tier municipality: A lower-tier municipality is the most basic unit of local government and includes townships, towns, and cities within a county or region, but excludes single tier municipalities. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Ministry action group: Composed of the deputy minister or designate of the ministry, the senior ministry official appointed to the ministry’s emergency management program committee, the ministry’s emergency management program coordinator; and such other ministry employees as may be appointed by the minister. The group shall direct the ministry’s response in an emergency, including the implementation of the ministry’s emergency plan. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Mitigation: Actions taken to reduce the adverse impacts of an emergency or disaster. Such actions may include diversion or containment measures to lessen the impacts of a flood or a spill. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Municipality: A geographic area whose inhabitants are incorporated under the Municipal Act (Source: Municipal Act).
Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance program (MDRA): A provincial disaster financial assistance program designed to help municipalities that have sustained emergency response costs, or damage to essential property or infrastructure, as a result of a natural disaster. For the purposes of the program, a disaster is a sudden, unexpected, extraordinary natural event that results in eligible municipal costs equal to or greater than three percent of the municipality’s own purpose taxation levy. (Source: MMAH)
Municipal Emergency Control Group (MECG): The Municipal Emergency Control Group operating from the municipal emergency operations centre is responsible for coordinating municipal emergency response and recovery activities. The Municipal Emergency Control Group usually includes leading community officials, emergency management representatives and other relevant staff.
Mutual aid agreements: An agreement developed between two or more emergency services to render aid to the parties of the agreement. These types of agreements can include the private sector emergency services when appropriate. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Mutual assistance agreement: An agreement developed between two or more jurisdictions to render assistance to the parties of the agreement. Jurisdictions covered with these types of agreements could include neighbouring, cities, regions, provinces or nations. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Necessary goods, services and resources: Includes food, water, electricity, fossil fuels, clothing, equipment, transportation and medical services and supplies (Source: EMCPA).
Non-governmental organization (NGO): An entity with a common interest or focus that is not created by a government, but may work cooperatively with governments. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Planning basis: the identification of the underlying facts/situation for determining the necessary capabilities that an emergency plan must address. Includes:
- Hazard identification and the general characteristics of the emergencies that the plan covers.
- Describing the population, property and infrastructure, and environment that may be impacted by an emergency.
Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan (PNERP): A Cabinet approved emergency response plan for nuclear facility emergencies mandated under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and maintained by the Province of Ontario. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Preparedness: Actions taken prior to an emergency or disaster to ensure an effective response. These actions include the formulation of an emergency response plan, a business continuity plan, training, exercises, and public awareness and education. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary).
Prevention: Actions taken to stop an emergency or disaster from occurring. Such actions may include legislative controls, zoning restrictions, improved operating standards/procedures or critical infrastructure management. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary).
Private sector: A business or industry not owned or managed by any level of government. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Provincial Disaster Assessment Team (PDAT): A recovery response team that is dispatched to a community to assess damage following a disaster event and to recommend on a financial disaster assistance program for recovery. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary).
Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC): A fully equipped facility maintained by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) that can be activated in response to, or in anticipation of, emergencies. The PEOC is staffed with appropriate representatives from ministries that have been delegated responsibilities for those emergencies as well as OFMEM staff. It serves as an initial point-of-contact for the affected municipality and federal interests. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Provincial organization: any ministry of the Government of Ontario and any agency, board, commission and other branch of government designated under the EMCPA by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
Public sector: All government services at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Reception centre: Usually located outside the impact zone of the emergency, the reception centre is a place to which evacuees can go to register, receive assistance for basic needs, information and referral to a shelter if required.
Recovery: The process of restoring a stricken community to a pre-disaster level of functioning. This may include the provision of financial assistance, repairing buildings and/or restoration of the environment. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary).
Recovery time objective (RTO): The period of time within which systems, applications, or functions must be recovered after an outage. RTO’s are often used as the basis for the development of recovery strategies, and as a determinant as to whether or not to implement the recovery strategies during a disaster situation. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Resilience: The ability to resist, absorb, accommodate, adapt to, transform and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Resources: These are personnel and major items of equipment, supplies, and facilities available or potentially available for assignment to incident operations and for which status is maintained. Resources are described by kind and type and may be used in operational or support capacities. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Response: The provision of emergency services and public assistance or intervention during or immediately after an incident in order to protect people, property, the environment, the economy and/or services. This may include the provision of resources such as personnel, services and/or equipment. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Response organization: See Emergency response organization (ERO).
Risk: The product of the probability of the occurrence of a hazard and its consequences. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Risk assessment: A methodology to determine the nature and extent of risk by analyzing potential hazards and the evaluation of vulnerabilities and consequences. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Severity: The extent of disruption and/or damages associated with a hazard. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Shall: This term is used to specify mandatory requirements. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Should: This term is used to specify recommended practices. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Single-tier municipality: Includes a separated municipality that is geographically located within a county / region but is not a part of the county / region for municipal purposes. Single-tier municipalities also include all northern municipalities where there is no upper-tier governance at the District level. A single-tier municipality has responsibilities for all local services to their residents. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Telecommunications: Is the transmission and/or receipt of messages, for the purpose of communicating over some distance, via a range of technical systems including radio and microwave communications, as well as fiber optics, satellites and the Internet. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Threat: A person, thing or event that has the potential to cause harm or damage. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Unincorporated community: a group of people living in an unorganized territory.
Unorganized territory: A geographic area without municipal organization. (Source: Municipal Act)
Upper-tier municipality: A municipality of which two or more lower-tier municipalities form part for municipal purposes (Source: Municipal Act)
Urban search and rescue (USAR): A multi-service, multi-skilled, and multi-functional task force that is trained and prepared to locate, treat and remove persons trapped in collapsed structures. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Vulnerability: The susceptibility of a community, system or asset to the damaging effects of a hazard. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
The currently in-force emergency type assignments are laid out in OIC 1157/2009, depicted on the next page. Since the OIC was issued, the following changes have been made:
- Where the OIC lists Government Services, responsibility has been transferred to Treasury Board Secretariat.
- Ministry names have been updated as follows:
Previous Ministry Name
Current Ministry Name
The text of OIC 1157/2009 is reproduced as follows:
On the recommendation of the undersigned, the Lieutenant Governor, by and with the advice and concurrence of the Executive Council, orders that:
PURSUANT to subsection 6(1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E9, as amended, all ministers are responsible for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of any emergency that affects the continuity of operations and services in their respective ministries.
In addition to the above, the following ministers are responsible for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of the type of emergency assigned.
Type of Emergency
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Farm animal disease; food contamination; agriculture plant disease and pest infestation
Any emergency related to the administration of justice including the operation of the courts; and provision of legal services to government in any emergency
Community and Social Services
Any emergency that requires emergency shelter, clothing and food; victim registration and inquiry services; personal services
Community Safety and Correctional Services
Energy and Infrastructure
Spills of pollutants to the natural environment including fixed site and transportation spills
Health and Long-Term Care
Human health, disease and epidemics; health services during an emergency
Any emergency that affects worker health and safety
Any emergency that affects labour relations and human resource management in the provincial government
Municipal Affairs and Housing
Any emergency that requires the coordination of extraordinary provincial expenditures
Northern Development and Mines
Abandoned mine hazards
Any emergency that requires the support of provincial emergency management in Northern Ontario
AND THAT Order in Council number 777/2009 dated May 13, 2009 be revoked.
Original signed as recommended by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and Concurred by the Chair of Cabinet.
Original Approved and Ordered Jun 15, 2009 by the Lieutenant Governor.
The Province has exclusive jurisdiction for matters of property and civil rights in the province and for all matters that affect the public health, safety and environment of the province, under the Constitution Act, 1867 .
The federal government, through Public Safety Canada (PS), is responsible for the National Emergency Response System. This system provides a framework for joint federal, provincial and territorial response to emergencies.
In the event of a national emergency, the federal government will implement its emergency response plans and may consult with the Province of Ontario to support federal response to an emergency under federal jurisdiction.
To help ensure the safety and security of the individual and preservation of the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the nation, the Government of Canada has established the Emergency Management Act and the Emergencies Act. These acts are intended to complement all other federal legislation.
The Emergency Management Act sets out clear roles and responsibilities for all federal ministers across the full spectrum of emergency management. This includes prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, and responsibilities for critical infrastructure.
The Emergency Management Act:
- Gives responsibility to the Minister of Public Safety to provide national leadership and set a clear direction for emergency management and critical infrastructure protection for the Government of Canada.
- Clearly establishes the roles and responsibilities of federal Ministers and enhances the Government of Canada’s readiness to respond to all types of emergencies.
- Enhances collaborative emergency management and improves information sharing with other levels of government as well as the private sector.
- Gives authority to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, in consultation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to coordinate Canada’s response to an emergency in the United States.
- Ensures the federal government will not respond to a provincial emergency without a formal request for assistance by the provincial government or if there is an agreement with the province that requires or permits the assistance.
Under the Emergency Management Act, the federal Governor in Council has the authority to declare a public welfare emergency. In order to do so, the Governor in Council must confirm with the Ontario Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGIC) that the emergency exceeds the response capacity of the province. Furthermore, the federal Governor in Council confirms with the LGIC that by issuing a public welfare emergency, it would not unduly impair the ability of the province to take measures to respond to that emergency.
The Emergencies Act authorizes the Government of Canada to take special temporary measures to ensure safety and security during national emergencies. It officially replaced the War Measures Act in 1988. As per the Emergencies Act:
“a national emergency is an urgent and critical situation of a temporary nature that
- (a) seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it, or
- (b) seriously threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada
and that cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada.”
There are four types of emergencies that are covered under the Act:
- Public Welfare Emergencies: An emergency caused by real or imminent severe natural disasters, diseases, or major accidents that result in a danger to life or property, social disruption or a breakdown in the flow of essential goods, services or resources, so serious as to be a national emergency. The Governor in Council may not issue a declaration of a public welfare emergency where the direct effects of the emergency are confined to, or occur principally in, one province unless the lieutenant governor in council of the province has indicated to the Governor in Council that the emergency exceeds the capacity or authority of the province to deal with it.
- Public Order Emergencies: An emergency that arises from threats to the security of Canada and that is so serious as to be a national emergency. The Governor in Council may not issue a declaration of a public order emergency where the effects of the emergency are confined to one province, unless the lieutenant governor in council of the province has indicated to the Governor in Council that the emergency exceeds the capacity or authority of the province to deal with it.
- International Emergencies: An emergency involving Canada and one or more other countries that arises from acts of intimidation or coercion or the real or imminent use of serious force or violence and that is so serious as to be a national emergency.
- War Emergencies: A war or other armed conflict, real or imminent, involving Canada or any of its allies that is so serious as to be a national emergency.
The Emergencies Act guarantees Parliament’s right to review and, if necessary, revoke emergency powers. It ensures that the Government is accountable to Parliament for its use of such powers. It also offers full protection for the fundamental rights and freedoms of Canadians during national emergencies.
Canadian Armed Forces service may be provided in accordance with the National Defence Act for situations “in which a riot or disturbance of the peace, beyond the powers of the civil authorities to suppress, prevent or deal with and requiring that service, occurs or is, in the opinion of an attorney general, considered as likely to occur.” The Attorney General of Ontario is empowered to make a requisition to the Chief of the Defence Staff for this assistance.
The Government of Canada has made an agreement with the Government of Ontario under which Ontario provides emergency preparedness assistance and emergency response services to First Nations reserves.
Additionally, Ontario has, in consultation with Indigenous Services Canada and First Nations in Ontario, compiled the Joint Emergency Management Steering Committee (JEMS) 2018 Service Level Evacuation Standards. These standards describe the requirements for evacuating First Nations communities in Ontario.
Indigenous Services Canada Emergency Management Assistance Program
Indigenous Services Canada’s Emergency Management Assistance Program (EMAP) was created in collaboration with First Nation communities, provincial and territorial government and non-government organizations. The EMAP is aimed to help on-reserve First Nation communities access emergency assistance services. It provides funds to those communities so they can build their resiliency, prepare for natural or human-caused hazards and respond appropriately. The EMAP is designed to be flexible, culturally sensitive, responsive to the unique strengths and customs of the First Nation communities and adaptive to the evolving challenges of emergency events. The program also enables ISC to provide funding to provinces, territories and non-governmental organizations in order for them to support emergency management for on-reserve First Nation communities.
The Ontario government is responsible for protecting public health and safety, property and the environment within its borders. The following sections outline the legislative and regulatory framework associated with this responsibility.
The legal basis for emergency management in Ontario is the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act R.S.O. 1990, Chapter E.9 , (referred to as the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, or the EMCPA).
For full details of the requirements under the EMCPA, the full text should be referred to. Those requirements that are most relevant to the PERP are:
- Pursuant to section 6 of the EMCPA, ministers of the crown presiding over a ministry of the Government of Ontario and agencies, boards, commissions or other branches of government designated by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council shall formulate emergency plans for the type of emergency assigned by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council.
- Section 7.0.1 of the EMCPA confers powers to declare an emergency upon the Lieutenant Governor in Council and the Premier of Ontario. Pursuant to this section, the LGIC may make a provincial declaration of emergency if the resources normally available to the government are considered insufficient to respond adequately to the crisis (for more details on declarations of emergency, see section 6.5).
- A provincial declaration of emergency may also be made by the Premier of Ontario, if the urgency of the situation requires that such a declaration be made immediately. Such an emergency declaration is subject to the criteria set out in the EMCPA (for more details on declarations of emergency, see section 6.5).
- Pursuant to section 7.0.2 of the EMCPA, the LGIC has the power to make emergency orders to promote the public good by protecting the health, safety and welfare of the People of Ontario in times of declared emergencies in a manner that is subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These orders may only be made once a provincial declaration of emergency has been made.
- Pursuant to section 7.0.4(1) of the EMCPA, the LGIC may delegate the emergency order making powers to a Minister or to the Commissioner of Emergency Management. Further, a Minister to whom these powers have been delegated may delegate them to the Commissioner of Emergency Management.
- Ministers’ emergency plans shall authorize Crown employees to take action under the emergency plans where an emergency exists but has not yet been declared to exist (section 9(a) of the EMCPA).
- Ministers of the Crown and Crown employees, or member of council or an employee of a municipality, are protected from personal liability for doing any act or neglecting to do any act in good faith in the implementation or intended implementation of emergency plans such as the PERP (subsection 11 (1) of the EMCPA).
- Pursuant to section 14 of the EMCPA, ministry emergency plans shall conform to the standards set out in regulations under the EMCPA.
Ontario Regulation 380/04, which came into effect December 31, 2004, sets out the municipal and ministry standards for emergency management programs, which include ministry emergency response plans as well as continuity of operations plans.
Pursuant to section 6(1) of the EMCPA, the LGIC may assign to a minister, the responsibility for the formulation of an emergency response plan to address a specific type of emergency. The current Order in Council (OIC 1157/2009) assigning responsibilities to ministers is included as Appendix C.
Pursuant to section 2.0.1 of the EMCPA, the LGIC may appoint, from among the members of the Executive Council, a committee to advise the Lieutenant Governor in Council on matters relating to emergencies. This committee was established as the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management through Order in Council 601/2019.
Ontario municipalities possess legislated and regulatory responsibilities to establish emergency management programs under the EMCPA. The EMCPA also defines the relationship between the Province and municipalities during actual emergencies. Some of the key provisions of the EMCPA for municipalities are listed below:
- Adoption by By-Law. Pursuant to section 3 of the EMCPA, municipalities shall formulate plans to respond to emergencies and adopt these plans by by-law.
- Services. Municipal plans should reflect the coordination of services provided by all levels of local government in a given community. Services provided by both upper and lower tiers, as well as municipal boards, should be included.
- Conformity with upper-tier plan. Pursuant to section 5 of the EMCPA, the plans of lower-tier municipalities that are part of an upper-tier municipality shall conform to the plan of their upper-tier municipality.
- Authority to act prior to declaration. Municipal emergency plans shall authorize municipal employees to take action under emergency plans where an emergency exists but has not yet been declared to exist (subsection 9. (a) of the EMCPA).
- Designating specific emergencies. Pursuant to subsection 3.(4) of the EMCPA, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may designate a municipality to address a specific type of emergency in its emergency plans.
- Emergency powers of the Premier. Pursuant to subsection 7.0.3(2) (a) of the EMCPA, during a declared emergency, the Premier may direct and control the administration, facilities and equipment of the affected municipality.
- Assistance by municipalities. Pursuant to subsection 7. 0.3(2) (b) of the EMCPA, during a provincial declaration of emergency the Premier, by order, may require any municipality to provide necessary assistance to an emergency area outside the jurisdiction of said municipality, and may also direct and control the provision of such assistance.
- County coordination. Counties, with the consent of their municipalities, may coordinate the emergency plans for their municipalities under subsection 3.(3) of the EMCPA.
- Conformity to standards. Pursuant to section 14 of the EMCPA, municipal emergency response plans shall conform to the standards set out in regulations by the Solicitor General. These standards are set out in Ontario Regulation 380/04.
Under the EMCPA and its regulation O.Reg. 380/04, all Ontario Ministers are responsible for:
- Developing and maintaining emergency response plans for any assigned type(s) of emergency as part of their overall ministry emergency plans.
- Developing and maintaining continuity of operations plans as part of their overall ministry emergency plans.
- Providing a copy of their most current ministry emergency plans to the Chief, EMO under subsection 6.2 of the EMCPA.
- Responding directly to their assigned emergencies in accordance with the ministry emergency response plan.
- Supporting a coordinated provincial emergency response in accordance with this plan and the ministry emergency response plan for the types of emergencies assigned to other ministers.
Under the EMCPA, and OIC 1157/2009, the Chief, EMO is responsible for:
- Coordinating assistance when municipalities/communities request provincial resources or when the emergency is beyond the capability of the municipal authority.
- Implementing plans for a coordinated provincial response to emergencies, including mutual aid and mutual assistance arrangements.
- Coordinating the emergency response when the LGIC or the Premier has declared that an emergency exists throughout Ontario or in any part thereof under section 7 of the EMCPA.
- Coordinating the province’s emergency management programs and plans with those of the Government of Canada and its agencies.
Under the EMCPA, municipalities are responsible for:
- Developing and maintaining municipal emergency response plans that are in compliance with the EMCPA and its regulations.
- Providing a copy of their most current emergency plans to the Chief, EMO under subsection 6.2 of the EMCPA.
- Establishing a procedure in their plans for informing the Solicitor General through the PEOC of a declared emergency.
- Directing the municipality’s response to an emergency, including the implementation of the municipality’s emergency response plans.
- Making use of all available municipal, mutual aid, and mutual assistance resources.
- If the situation warrants, declaring that a municipal emergency exists under section 4 of the EMCPA.
- Requesting assistance if necessary, in accordance with this PERP and established guidelines.
Two criteria must be met to declare a provincial emergency:
- 1. There is an emergency that requires immediate action to prevent, reduce or mitigate a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property.
- 2. One of the following circumstances exists:
- i. The resources normally available to a ministry of the Government of Ontario or an agency, board or commission or other branch of the government, including existing legislation, cannot be relied upon without the risk of serious delay.
- ii. The resources referred to in subparagraph i may be insufficiently effective to address the emergency
- iii. It is not possible, without the risk of serious delay, to ascertain whether the resources referred to in subparagraph i can be relied upon. 2006, c. 13, s. 1 (4).
Despite the flexibility in the test, it is important that due consideration be given to an assessment of the resources normally available prior to declaring an emergency. For example, it may be possible to accomplish operational goals in the absence of legislative authority through agreements or consent. If so, there may not be a need to declare an emergency.
The process leading to a provincial declaration of emergency will vary depending on the situation. (Legal advice will be available on the test for declaring an emergency). The following steps will typically precede a declaration:
- The responsible ministry, as indicated in the Order in Council (having responsibility for the specific type of emergency, as assigned by Order in Council [Refer to Appendix C]) typically notifies the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) of the severity and urgency of the situation.
- The Commissioner of Emergency Management (CEM) advises the Solicitor General of the situation.
- The minister responsible (as applicable) and/or the CEM provide recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGIC) and the Secretary of Cabinet regarding the situation.
- The LGIC decides whether an emergency declaration needs to be made. These discussions can take place via teleconferences, electronic mail, meetings etc.
- A provincial declaration of emergency is made by the LGIC via an Order in Council, or the Premier in urgent circumstances.
Each emergency incident varies in severity. These recommendations are not meant to cover every emergency situation. They are intended to be used as a guide to assist the LGIC in taking action as the situation may dictate.
When a provincial declaration of emergency is made, the Premier (or minister designated to exercise the powers conferred on the Premier by the EMCPA,) will ensure that the federal government is informed. The declaration notification is passed to the PEOC, which will in turn inform the Regional Director, Public Safety Canada Ontario Region, of the emergency declaration.
Refer to section 126.96.36.199 for who may be a “decision maker” for making emergency orders.
The EMCPA permits emergency orders to be made if:
- 1. They are “necessary and essential.”
The decision maker must believe orders are both “necessary” and “essential” in the circumstances. The use of both terms indicates a fairly high threshold for making orders. The determination that orders are “necessary and essential” is based on the belief of the decision maker, and involves the decision-maker determining that the emergency order is needed and required in the circumstances.
- 2. The “harm or damage will be alleviated by the order.”
The decision-maker must determine whether it is reasonable to believe that the order will alleviate harm or damage. Thus, the order made must relate to the harm or damage it seeks to address.
- 3. “Making an order is a reasonable alternative to other measures that might be taken to address the emergency.”
The decision-maker must believe the order represents a reasonable alternative to other measures that are available to address the emergency.
This part of the test requires the consideration of options that may be available before an emergency order is made.
Example: if the matter could be addressed by an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA), the availability of the HPPA order should be considered to determine whether an emergency order is a reasonable alternative to address the emergency.
The order must apply only to the areas where it is necessary and should be effective only for as long as necessary.
Orders generally prevail over all Ontario statutes and regulations, with limited exceptions. Importantly, the EMCPA states “despite subsection (4), in the event of a conflict between this Act or an order made under subsection 7.0.2 (4) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act or a regulation made under it, the Occupational Health and Safety Act or the regulation made under it prevails.” 2006, c. 13, s. 1 (5).
It is important to note that this criterion does not require that all other alternatives be attempted prior to making an emergency order. In other words, it does not require that an emergency order is the only alternative available. Rather, it merely requires that the decision-maker give consideration to the reasonableness of an emergency order in relation to other options that may be available.
A brief summary of the major components of the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) and their core functions follows. The responsibilities of the PEOC staff under each provincial response level will be described in the PEOC Procedures.
The responsibilities of the PEOC Commander include:
- Provide coordination of allocated emergency response resources.
- Identify and resolve operational issues and approve the incident action plan.
- Identify unresolved issues to be addressed by the Chief, EMO, the Commissioner of Emergency Management, the Deputy Solicitor General – Community Safety, the Solicitor General, and the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management (CCEM).
- Provide advice, assistance and recommendations to the Commissioner of Emergency Management and the CCEM.
- Implement the emergency response decisions made by the Commissioner of Emergency Management and the CCEM.
- Issue operational directives and guidance to include advisories and Emergency Bulletins.
- Consult with Commanders of emergency operations centres (e.g., community emergency operations centres) and ministry actions groups.
The PEOC Commander is supported by the following Command Staff:
The safety officer is responsible for monitoring, tracking and ensuring the health and safety of all personnel working at the PEOC.
The liaison officer serves as the link between the PEOC Commander and other organizations involved in emergency response management outside the provincial emergency response organization (provincial ERO) (e.g., other provinces and states).
The emergency information officer is responsible for coordinating between the PEOC Commander and other staff in the PEOC, and the Provincial Emergency Information Section (PEIS). These responsibilities include:
- Ensuring Command-identified emergency public information issues are communicated to the PEIS to be incorporated into the emergency public information messaging.
- Ensuring that the communication plan, plan amendments, and any emergency public information issues that may affect the overall response are communicated to Command and the PEOC as a whole.
The responsibilities of the PEIS are described in Section 6.15.2.
The Operations Section, led by the Operations Section Chief, shall:
- Implement the incident action plan.
- Disseminate information products within the PEOC as well as to the larger emergency management organization.
- Maintain incident documentation.
- Provide operational input to the decision-making process.
- Provide operational input to information and situational awareness products.
- Implement operational decisions by issuing advice or direction as appropriate.
- Coordinate operational resources necessary for response.
- Ensure response coordination between other ministries, federal government and other organizations.
- Ensure complementarity of actions taken by other ministries and organizations.
- Deploy staff and teams of staff as required to the site of the emergency.
- Monitor and coordinate deployed provincial resources.
The Planning Section, led by the Planning Section Chief, shall:
- Collect, confirm, and analyze incident information.
- Prepare provincial information products.
- Manage the planning process, including preparing and documenting the incident action plan for each operational period.
- Conduct long-range and/or contingency planning.
- Develop plans for demobilization in preparation for when the incident winds down.
- Tracking resources assigned to the incident.
- Managing the activities of technical specialists assigned to the Planning Section.
- Working closely with Command and members of the General Staff to be sure that information is shared effectively and results in an efficient planning process to meet the needs of the incident.
The Logistics Section, under the direction of the Logistics Section Chief, shall:
- Obtain, maintain, and account for essential personnel, equipment, and supplies beyond those immediately accessible to Operations.
- Develop the telecommunications plan.
- Providing incident telecommunication/IT services and resources.
- Manage food services.
- Set up and maintaining incident facilities.
- Provide medical services to incident personnel.
The Finance and Administration Section, under the direction of the Finance and Administration Chief, shall:
- Monitor sources of funding.
- Track and report on the financial usage rate.
- Track timesheets for incident personnel and equipment.
- Make reimbursements or compensation as appropriate.
- Negotiate and administrate contracts as appropriate.
- Make cost estimates for alternative response strategies.
- Prepare cost analyses.
Ontario Regulation 380/04 describes the requirement for each minister, agency, board and commission or branch of government to prepare:
- An emergency plan describing how services and the continuity of operations will be provided during an emergency.
- As applicable, an emergency plan in respect of the type of emergency assigned under OIC 1157/2009.
The remainder of this appendix deals with those ministries assigned responsibilities for types of emergencies under OIC 1157/2009 with respect to the assistance they provide to a PEOC coordinated emergency response.
In order to ensure that ministries have the capabilities in place to implement the responsibilities detailed in their plans, the following preparedness measures should be put in place:
- A ministry action group which can be activated at short notice to guide the ministry emergency response.
- Designated staff to form membership on the ministry action group.
- A 24/7 emergency response contact point.
- A designated location and emergency operations centre for use by the ministry action group.
- A designated ministry emergency information officer.
- Plans, procedures, resource lists and arrangements to carry out emergency responsibilities.
Depending upon the nature of the emergency and the role of the ministry, provincial ministers may have the following emergency response responsibilities:
- Provide ministry representative(s) in the PEOC as requested or as required, as determined by the ministry.
- Provide on-site personnel to advise and assist local authorities, where appropriate, as determined by the ministry.
- Provide services, resources and personnel to support the emergency operations of other ministries, if required, as determined by the ministry.
- Provide Ministry staff to be part of any provincial liaison team assembled and deployed to an emergency area if required, as determined by the ministry.
Each minister has detailed responsibilities consistent with those assigned by OIC 1157/2009, under Section 6 of the EMCPA.
Specific responsibilities for Ministers that have types of emergencies assigned to them under OIC 1157/2009 are defined in the following annexes:
|G.2||Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs|
|G.3||The Attorney General|
|G.4||Minister of Children, Community and Social Services|
|G.5||Minister of the Solicitor General|
|G.6||Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines|
|G.7||Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks|
|G.8||Minister of Health and Minister of Long-Term Care|
|G.9||Minister of Labour|
|G.10||Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing|
|G.11||Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry|
|G.12||Minister of Transportation|
|G.13||President of the Treasury Board|
OIC assigned emergency:
Under OIC 1157/2009, the Minister Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has been assigned the responsibility for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of:
- Farm Animal Disease.
- Food Contamination.
- Agricultural Plant Disease.
- Pest Infestation.
In coordination with the PEOC and other ministries and stakeholders:
- Establishment of contact and maintenance of liaison with agricultural and food facilities, producers, marketing organizations, etc. who are involved in emergency response.
- Coordination with private organizations and other government agencies including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to provide available information on the location and status of farms, food crops, food processors and distributors, and other agricultural data.
- Coordination with industry to provide information and advice to food producers and other livestock owners, including the preparation of advisories covering different situations and status of government response efforts, sharing recovery opportunities.
- Collection and delivery of food and agricultural samples, if required, according to current procedures.
- In coordination with other agencies, provide inspection services within processing and distribution areas, during an emergency, to support safety of farm products, and other commodities.
- In coordination with other agencies and local jurisdictions, act as provincial lead to ensure public protection from contaminated food through the implementation of food and agriculture control measures (less water control).
- Provision of animal and plant science specialties.
- Provision of veterinary expertise and inspection services.
- In coordination with other agencies, support emergency livestock feeding services.
- Provision of current information on the disposal of contaminated crops and dead livestock.
- Provision of technical advice and assistance in the use and disposal of pesticides.
OIC assigned emergency:
Under OIC 1157/2009, the Attorney General has been assigned the responsibility for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of:
- Any emergency related to the administration of justice including operation of the courts; and provision of legal services to government in any emergency.
In coordination with the PEOC and other ministries and stakeholders:
- Ensure that the administration of public affairs is in accordance with the law, regardless of the nature of the emergency.
- Ensure the continuation of the administration of the courts during an emergency.
- Ensure judicial independence is respected even under emergency situations.
- Oversee that all emergency legislative enactments made with respect to the emergency response are in accordance with principles of natural justice and civil rights.
- Advise on the constitutionality and legality of emergency response emergency legislation.
- Ensure that the administration of Ontario’s public affairs is in accordance with the law.
- Superintend all Government legislative matters.
- Ensure the administration of the courts in partnership with the constitutionally independent judiciary and superintend all matters connected with judicial offices.
- Support the Attorney General’s mandate and role as Chief Law Officer of the Crown and member of the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management.
- Conduct all Provincial Crown prosecutions.
- Conduct and regulate all litigation for and against the Crown or any provincial ministry or agency of Government in respect of any subject within the authority or jurisdiction of the Legislature.
- Advise Government upon all matters of law referred to it, including the constitutionality and legality of emergency response emergency issues.
- Represent the personal and property rights and obligations of children in the civil justice system.
- Provide court-based assistance services to the most vulnerable victims and witnesses of crime.
- Provide guardianship services to vulnerable and incapable adults.
- Provide legislative drafting services to Ministers of the Crown, Members of the Legislature and applicants for private bills and drafting services for regulations.
- Coordinate the response to legal issues that arise.
OIC assigned emergency:
Under OIC 1157/2009, the Minister Children, Community and Social Services has been assigned the responsibility for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of:
- Any emergency that requires emergency shelter, clothing and food; victim registration and inquiry services; personal services.
MCCSS emergency plans describe how the ministry supports the provision of the above Emergency Social Services (ESS) in support of an emergency. This includes:
- Receive and assess request(s) from PEOC for the coordination and provision of Emergency Social Services (ESS)
- Authorize the provision of ESS via the MCCSS/Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS) contract to affected community/communities
- Authorize and assist in the coordination of ESS supplies available via the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile (NESS) to affected community/communities
- As required by response and other operational needs, liaise with the PEOC and the CRCS to support the provision of ESS
OIC assigned emergency:
Under OIC 1157/2009, the Solicitor General has been assigned the responsibility for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of:
- Any emergency that requires the coordination of provincial emergency management.
- Nuclear and radiological.
- Severe weather.
- War and international.
- Any other peacetime emergency not listed herein.
- Building structural collapse.
- Explosion and structural fire.
- Space object crash.
- Civil disorder.
- Any emergency that requires the continuity of provincial government services.
In collaboration with the PEOC and other ministries and stakeholders, the Solicitor General shall coordinate the provision of resources as follows:
Office of the Fire Marshal
- Coordinate disaster firefighting and suppression resources available through the Provincial Mutual Aid Plan under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, c. 4.
- Coordinate the provision of provincial chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) / hazardous materials (HazMat) teams.
- Coordinate the provision of provincial urban search and rescue teams (USAR).
- Coordinate provision of CBRNE resources in the province
Public Safety Division
- Facilitate communication between the Ministry and municipal police services in the event of an emergency as well as to provide policy direction, advice and support to police services in Ontario.
Ontario Provincial Police
- Coordinate with law enforcement and assist with traffic control throughout the province including participation in any joint traffic control plans and border incident traffic management plans.
- On the request of municipal police services (subject to the approval of the OPP Commissioner) provide additional personnel to reinforce police services of municipalities.
- Provide technical advice to the SOLGEN MEOC and the PEOC.
Correctional Services Division
- Ensure continuity of care and protective measures for correctional institutions and persons under custody of the division.
Office of the Chief Coroner / Ontario Forensic Pathology Service
- Conduct death investigations and inquests.
Ministry Communications Branch
- Provide, in conjunction with a primary ministry, a coordinated emergency information plan for the government response to an emergency.
- Coordinate the release of information on response activities from all involved ministries and agencies to the public, media and elected officials.
- Establish and operate a Joint Information Centre, as required.
- Support emergency public information activities in the PEOC.
- Assist local authorities to prepare and plan emergency communications.
- Assist local authorities to communicate messages to the public and media.
OIC assigned emergency:
Under OIC 1157/2009, the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines has been assigned the responsibility for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of:
- Energy supply.
- Abandoned mine hazards.
- Any emergency that requires the support of provincial emergency management in Northern Ontario.
Responsibilities - Energy
In coordination with the PEOC and other ministries and stakeholders:
- Serve as primary contact for energy availability and distribution issues during an emergency.
- Provide professional expertise in all matters related to energy sources and energy.
- Ensure and maintain coordination with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), electricity transmission and local distribution companies, and petroleum and natural gas utility companies to ensure the safety, reliability and security of Ontario’s energy supply.
- Ensure and maintain coordination with the Ontario Energy Board especially with respect to any necessary emergency deviations from established regulatory policies or guidelines.
- Maintain liaison with the IESO, petroleum and natural gas utility companies to ensure coordination of emergency public information with the PEOC.
- Advise the PEOC when conditions exist which may warrant the declaration of a provincial energy supply emergency.
- Provide advice and assistance regarding control of the distribution of energy supplies.
- Assist the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks in the management of pollution problems related to the petroleum-producing industry.
Responsibilities – Northern Development and Mines
- Support emergency response operations in Northern Ontario, whether coordinated by the PEOC or another ministry that has been assigned lead responsibility.
- Provide technical information on the emergency, including geo-science information and data, to the PEOC and other ministries, as appropriate.
- Assist in communicating information and government messages to northern communities.
- Assist with communications between local emergency response units, the PEOC and other ministries, as appropriate.
- Provide personnel, equipment and material to support emergency response operations in Northern Ontario, as required and available.
- Provide scientific information in geology in the PEOC; including geological factors on a local to regional scale that affect earthquakes, natural concentrations of metal concentrations, sources of groundwater, buffering capacity of rocks and near surface geological materials.
- Provide emergency inorganic material analysis; supervise the design and quality assessment of third-party laboratory tests of inorganic materials, and other laboratory support services to local authorities or the PEOC.
- Provide expert scientific information on the nature of the surficial materials and their geochemistry to help determine impact on groundwater, anthropogenic or natural sources of possible inorganic elements contaminants, or transport and migration of groundwater and inorganic elements contaminants through the near surface and subsurface geological environment.
- Supervise the application of 3rd party remote sensed (geophysical) techniques capable of detecting location of contaminated groundwater, hydrocarbon leaks, and weak, water-filled faults subject to earthquakes, and distribution of radioactive plumes (natural, reactor or "dirty bomb"-related).
- Develop an appropriate emergency response plan(s) that provides guidance for abandoned mine hazard emergencies that present an immediate threat to human health, the environment and/or public safety.
- Facilitate or initiate rehabilitation of mine hazards, including where appropriate issuing Orders or giving direction under the Mining Act R.S.O. 1990, c. M.14.
- Lead and coordinate emergency communications activities including contacting affected communities, developing briefing notes and press releases pertaining to the emergency mine hazard on an abandoned mine site.
OIC assigned emergency:
Under OIC 1157/2009, the Minister the Environment, Conservation and Parks has been assigned the responsibility for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of:
- Spills of pollutants to the natural environment, including fixed site and transportation spills.
- Drinking water.
In coordination with the PEOC and other ministries and stakeholders:
- Monitor, investigate and manage environmental issues, as appropriate, as part of the larger, coordinated
- Releases of hazardous materials, or other pollutants to the environment.
- Contamination of provincial waters.
- Groundwater, hydrology and sewage issues.
- Management of hazardous materials or wastes, including suspect substances.
- Drinking water measures.
- Air, water and land pollution and clean-up activities.
- Environmental damage assessments.
- Provide meteorological and hydrological data and forecasts.
- Coordinate with Ontario Parks to evacuate and close Provincial Parks as required or if requested by the PEOC or other lead ministry.
OIC assigned emergency:
Under OIC 1157/2009, the Minister of Health and Minister of Long-Term Care have been assigned the responsibility for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of:
- Human health, disease and epidemics.
- Health services during an emergency.
- Ministry continuity of operations planning.
- MOH/MLTC plans detail how these responsibilities are met and describe how the ministries manage human
health emergencies and ensure continued access to health services regardless of disruption, emergency or
- Continued engagement with the PEOC, other ministries, federal and other provincial/territorial health authorities.
- Coordination of the health system with partners including:
- Paramedic services.
- Regional health system entities (i.e. Local Health Integration Networks and Ontario Health).
- Public health units.
- Long-term care facilities.
- Primary, home, community, and dental care.
- Health system associations, colleges, unions and agencies (i.e. Public Health Ontario, Ornge Air Ambulance, Emergency Medical Assistance Team, Critical Care Services Ontario).
- Community laboratories.
OIC assigned emergency:
Under OIC 1157/2009, the Minister of Labour has been assigned the responsibility for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of:
- Any emergency that affects worker health and safety.
In coordination with the PEOC and other ministries and stakeholders:
- Ensure that employers meet their obligations concerning health and safety of workers.
- Provide emergency worker safety support.
- Provide occupational health and safety advice for workers deployed to emergency sites.
- Provide radiation analyses of samples, interpretations and recommendations for public safety actions in support of other Ministries and to local agencies through the Ministry's Radiation Protection Service.
OIC assigned emergency:
Under OIC 1157/2009, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has been assigned the responsibility for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of:
- Any emergency that requires the coordination of extraordinary provincial expenditures.
In coordination with the PEOC and other ministries and stakeholders:
- Provide recommendations regarding assistance to individuals or municipalities affected by an emergency and the sharing of costs.
- Assist individuals and municipalities by providing early emergency financial assistance to meet immediate needs incurred in responding to an emergency.
- Coordinate and monitor extraordinary provincial expenditures related to the emergency.
- Facilitate liaison with local authorities and, if required, recommend the appointment of an official administrator to act as council.
- Coordinate a Provincial Disaster Assessment Team to assess level and nature of impacts and make recommendations about the types of assistance required.
- If called upon, support the provision of shelter and accommodation for evacuated people who cannot
return to their homes for some time due to radiological contamination, etc., by supporting:
- Municipalities, in providing short and long-term shelter and housing.
- MCCSS, having the lead role in arranging shelter.
- Provision of advice to assist in the determination of appropriate options for longer-term emergency housing, when required.
OIC assigned emergency:
Under OIC 1157/2009, the Minister Natural Resources and Forestry has been assigned the responsibility for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of:
- Forest fires.
- Drought/low water.
- Dam failures.
- Crude oil and natural gas exploration and production, natural gas and hydrocarbon underground storage and salt solution mining emergencies.
- Soil and bedrock instability.
In coordination with the PEOC and other ministries and stakeholders:
- Provide ministry facilities to be used as assembly, relocation, and dispatch areas for emergency response operations, and temporary emergency care and accommodation.
- Manage and coordinate operations for control and suppression of wildfires
- Coordinate or conduct debris removal, land reclamation, and road reconstruction necessary to support emergency response operations on Crown lands in respect of the types of emergency assigned.
- Coordinate the acquisition of bulldozers, trucks, and other heavy equipment, for its assigned hazard responsibilities or if requested by the PEOC.
- Coordinate the provision of air transportation for emergency personnel and equipment, for its assigned hazard responsibilities or if requested by the PEOC.
- Provide surface water monitoring services and management of flood control operations with Conservation Authorities where they exist.
- Implement water control measures as required or if requested by the PEOC.
- Provide aircraft, telecommunications, and other resources, if requested by the PEOC.
- Provide aerial reconnaissance for its assigned hazard responsibilities or if requested by the PEOC.
- Advise on the restriction of consumption of contaminated food from fisheries or wildlife habitats.
- Provide Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) support if requested by the PEOC.
- Where an emergency is within an unincorporated community and that community is unable to respond, the ministry will respond to the emergency as outlined in the ministry emergency response plan, for its assigned emergency responsibilities.
- Provide emergency response to First Nations communities as outlined in the ministry emergency response plan, primarily for incidents related to forest fire and flood.
OIC assigned emergency:
Under OIC 1157/2009, the Minister of Transportation has been assigned the responsibility for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of:
In coordination with the PEOC and other ministries and stakeholders:
- Assist in traffic control and evacuation planning that may be undertaken by ministries assigned special responsibility and/or communities, if required.
- Coordinate transportation activities on provincially controlled routes, assisting with the implementation of emergency highway traffic control measures in conjunction with the Ontario Provincial Police.
- Conduct damage assessment to the provincial transportation system and facilities.
- Inform the PEOC immediately upon the closing of any provincial roadways (and municipal roads if known) that are necessary for emergency response operations, such as evacuation routes, and suggested alternative reroutes.
- Give priority to maintaining and keeping open provincially controlled roads, and assisting in keeping open municipal roads if possible that are necessary to support emergency operations.
- Coordinate the mobilization of contractor equipment/personnel and engineering expertise to keep open provincial roadways, and to assist the OPP in traffic management issues in an emergency.
- Provide assistance to expedite issuing permits for transportation companies to engage in common or contract carrier operations related to the emergency.
- Coordinate the response to and recovery from an emergency at any of MTO’s 29 remote airports.
OIC assigned emergency:
Under OIC 1157/2009, the President of the Treasury Board has been assigned the responsibility for the formulation of emergency plans in respect of:
- Any emergency that affects labour relations and human resource management in the provincial government.
In coordination with the PEOC and other ministries and stakeholders:
- Ensure the Corporate Response Centre (CRC) is activated which fulfills a coordinating function for emergencies that have human resources and labour relations implications. This is comprised of Executive Group and Operational Group.
- Maintain communications with Ministry Action Groups to receive & provide information and provide direction on labour relations and human resources issues.
Ontario Regulation 380/04 specifies municipal standards pursuant to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA). The regulation defines the elements that encompass the development and implementation of a municipal emergency management program.
The responsibilities in this section are requirements for municipalities, and are recommendations for First Nations communities.
In order to ensure that municipalities have the capabilities in place to respond to emergencies, the following preparedness measures are required:
- An emergency management program coordinator.
- An emergency management program committee.
- An approved municipal emergency response plan.
- A 24/7 emergency response contact point.
- Designated staff and alternates to form a Municipal Emergency Control Group (MECG), which can be activated at short notice to guide the emergency response.
- A designated location for, and fully equipped emergency operations centre for use by the MECG.
- A designated municipal emergency information officer, and alternate(s).
- Plans, procedures, resource lists and arrangements to carry out emergency responsibilities.
Where an emergency results in the need for provincial assistance, communities should ensure that they are able to meet the following response requirements to facilitate PEOC coordination:
- Provide early notification and updates to the PEOC of any potential emergency situation.
- Notify the PEOC whenever an emergency is declared.
- Request provincial assistance whenever community resources can no longer appropriately support the emergency response.
- Accommodate an OFMEM Field Officer in the EOC in order to facilitate the coordination of information and resources.
-  In this plan, "communities" is a generic term referring to groups of residents at the local level, and includes municipalities, First Nations, and groups of people in unorganized territories.
-  The PERP uses many terms from the provincial Emergency Management Glossary of Terms
-  As of the approval date of this plan, no agency, board, or commission has been designated by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council to plan for a type of emergency.
-  Nuclear and radiological emergencies are addressed under the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan, formulated under section 8 of the EMCPA.
-  The provincial hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA) program and associated published material are maintained by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, Ministry of the Solicitor General.
-  Ontario’s Emergency Management Doctrine
-  The PNERP is developed by EMO, Ministry of the Solicitor General, and approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (section 8 of the EMCPA,).
-  The National On-Reserve Emergency Management Plan (PDF, 100KB)
-  Chiefs of Ontario – Directory of First Nations
-  As per the Schedule under the Northern Services Boards Act, the services that may be provided are: water supply, fire protection, garbage collection, sewage, street or area lighting, recreation, roads, public library service, and emergency telecommunications.
-  Some MECGs adopt a different name, particularly in two-tiered municipalities, to help distinguish them from each other. They are still performing the role of the MECG as required by O.Reg.380/04.
-  There are four types of emergencies under the Emergencies Act: public welfare emergency, public order emergency, international emergency, and war emergency. Refer to the Emergencies Act for further details.
-  The role of Commissioner of Emergency Management is currently filled by the Deputy Solicitor General, Community Safety, though this has not always been the case in the past.
-  The Federal Emergency Management Response System is a comprehensive management system which integrates the Government of Canada’s response to emergencies. It is based on the tenets of the Incident Command System and the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Integrated Risk Management Framework.
-  ISC’s Emergency Management Assistance Program
-  Note: for a response to a radiological or nuclear emergency under the PNERP, “reception centre” has a slightly different definition due to the size of a potential evacuation, and the need for decontamination and monitoring activities.
-  The NEMAC agreement’s official name is the State and Province Emergency Management Assistance Memorandum of Agreement.
-  As noted above, this is now the responsibility of the Treasury Board Secretariat.
-  At this time, no agency, board, or commission has been assigned a type of emergency under this provision of the EMCPA.