Letter: AUMA Statement on Emergency Management Act amendments

Alberta’s municipalities and AUMA fully support the provincial government’s recent announcement to amend the Emergency Management Act to remove unnecessary red tape for municipalities during this time of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Municipalities and the provincial government enjoy a strong working relationship with emergency management, and we are pleased that the changes to the Emergency Management Act will allow locally- and provincially-declared states of emergencies to run concurrently during this unprecedented time.

Prior to this change to the legislation, if the provincial government declared a state of emergency, then they would have to go through a process to authorize each local state of emergency to be in effect concurrently. Alternatively, without this authorization process, the provincial state of emergency would supersede any municipally-declared states of emergency and make them ineffectual.

Removing the need for this process helps all orders of government quickly and responsively address quickly-emerging issues. We applaud the provincial government for this strategic amendment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill 9, Emergency Management Amendment Act, 2020 is a welcome example of red tape reduction that will allow municipalities to autonomously manage their local needs and states of emergency.

Currently, the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) indicates there are about 25 local states of emergency declared in communities across the province, as municipalities enact measures to ensure they can provide critical services.

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Municipalities share the same ambition as the provincial government for a strong and prosperous Alberta, and we look forward to sharing in brighter times ahead once we have weathered this time of uncertainty.

Barry Morishita
Alberta Urban Municipalities Association President

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