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CRTC requires broadcasting industry to relay emergency alert messages to Canadians

OTTAWA and GATINEAU, QC, Aug. 29, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today acted to ensure that, in the event of an emergency situation, Canadians receive timely warnings over the radio and through their televisions. The CRTC is requiring the broadcasting industry to participate and relay emergency alert messages to Canadians.

Cable and satellite companies, radio stations, over-the-air television stations and video-on-demand services must begin issuing such messages by March 31, 2015. Campus, community-based and Native broadcasters have until March 31, 2016 to comply with this new requirement.

Emergency alert messages are issued by emergency management officials such as fire marshals, police officers and public health personnel to warn the public of dangers to life and property. For example, alerts could be issued to warn Canadians of Amber Alerts, tornadoes, forest fires, floods, meteors, water contamination and industrial disasters.

Currently, participation in the National Public Alerting System is voluntary.

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC is requiring the broadcasting industry to participate in the National Public Alerting System to enhance the safety and security of Canadians.
  • Starting in 2015, Canadians will receive timely warnings over the radio and through their televisions in the event of an emergency situation.
  • Emergency alert messages are issued by public officials to warn of dangers to the public and could include notifications about severe weather, wildfires, hazardous chemical spills, train derailments or water contamination.
  • Messages issued under the system must follow specific guidelines to ensure they are easily recognized by members of the public.

Quote
"During an emergency situation, important information can be relayed quickly to Canadians over the radio and through their televisions. We are making sure that broadcasters and television service providers play their part in improving the security and safety of Canadians. Today's decision ensures that Canadians will have access to important local safety messages when these notifications are issued by authorities."

Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman

Related product

Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2014-444

Related links

How the CRTC helps protect Canadians

Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-85

Follow us on Twitter: @CRTCeng

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This document is available in alternative format upon request.

 

SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

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