By Pat Stier, MLA
MLA Pat Stier participated in a debate earlier this week with the Minister of Municipal Affairs. They were debating Bill 8 the Emergency Management Amendment Act, 2018 in Committee of the Whole. Bill 8 includes a number of amendments to the Emergency Management Act (EMA) including:
- Clarifying liability when individuals ignore a mandatory evacuation order.
- Clarifying that the dispute resolution mechanism is responsible for deciding compensation amounts, not whether applicant is eligible for compensation.
- Improving local authority’s ability to declare local state of emergency.
- Standardizing roles and responsibilities of a local authority’s Emergency Advisory Committees (EACs).
- Standardizing the roles and responsibilities of municipalities’ local Emergency Management Agency (LEMA).
- Enhancing regional collaboration in responding to emergency.
- Ensuring municipal elected officials and staff are trained, prepared, and knowledgeable of their assigned roles in an emergency.
- Ensuring that Alberta’s communities are prepared to respond to emergencies and disasters.
- Requiring municipalities to conduct training exercises to test their emergency management plan.
These amendments were largely in response to issues and concerns that were received in response to a string of large-scale disasters going back to the 2011 Slave Lake fire including the recent Kenow wildfire in southwest Alberta.