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Tories release national emergency plan

The government has released an “all-hazards” national emergency response plan four months after it was chastised for not having one approved by cabinet.

The government has released an “all-hazards” national emergency response plan four months after it was chastised for not having one approved by cabinet.

The plan outlines the responsibilities departments and agencies have in national or provincial emergencies, as well as international ones that could affect Canada.

“It outlines the processes and mechanisms needed for an integrated response to an emergency,” Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said yesterday.

“It will help to ensure that the government’s response to an emergency is seamless and timely and that key decisions can be made quickly when disaster strikes.”

Largely logistical in nature, the plan touches on virtually every conceivable natural or man-made disaster, from toxic spills and plane or train crashes to earthquakes, deadly storms and pandemics.

It also addresses government roles in tackling “cyber incidents” and terrorism — all in the name of protecting lives, property, national security and the economy.

In November, auditor general Sheila Fraser said Public Safety Canada — the agency responsible for co-ordinating the federal crisis response — had not completed an emergency blueprint, nor had the document received formal approval.

That was two years after Parliament gave the department the lead on crisis management.

 
 
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