In Canada, all citizens have a right to know of and to fully understand the type of emergency situations that could affect their lives, and, to the extent practicable, be prepared to respond accordingly. Communities, municipalities, first nations, townships, provincial and federal levels of government have a responsibility to plan and prepare for emergencies beyond what might be reasonably expected of a private citizen to mitigate.
Response to emergencies is most effective when the responders are prepared through the development of contingency plans, by the testing of these plans under simulated emergency conditions, and by the administration and operational training of personnel to effectively perform their responsibilities in accordance with the emergency plan.
Under the Emergencies Management Act every Minister accountable to the Parliament of Canada is responsible for, among other things:
The federal government, through Public Safety Canada, has established programs to aid all levels of government and response agencies to enable them to meet their mandate by providing training in the development of emergency contingency plans, by providing resources to provinces to assist them in developing and placing response systems which enhance the national emergency response capabilities, and by organizing forums to discuss emergency preparedness and response requirements.
Emergency Management Ontario (EMO), a branch of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, is responsible for monitoring, coordinating and assisting in the formulation and implementation of emergency plans in Ontario. As part of its ongoing response role, Emergency Measures Ontario coordinates provincial emergency management, manages the daily operations of the Provincial Operations Centre, coordinates federal/provincial emergency activities and programs, and provides advice and assistance to support community emergency response.
Industry Canada is responsible for contingency planning within the federal government to respond to emergencies that may affect telecommunications services, or for other emergencies that may require the use of telecommunications services. In this capacity, Industry Canada's Ontario Region assists regional departments, branches, and other agencies of the Government of Canada located in Ontario, with respect to the telecommunications requirements of their emergency response function and related civil emergency plans. Industry Canada will also consult with the Government of Ontario and the telecommunications industry to support telecommunications preparedness within the Province of Ontario during emergencies.
The RETC has been established to foster the exchange of information and discussion of telecommunications issues among federal agencies, Government of Ontario (inclusive of ministries and communities) and the telecommunications industry for emergency mitigation and to ensure the availability and operational readiness of telecommunications services during regional or national emergencies.
The purpose of the Executive Committee, comprised of representatives from federal and provincial agencies, and the telecommunications industry, is to direct the RETC in accordance with the established objectives.
Industry Canada will provide the chairperson and secretary for the Executive Committee.
The objectives of the RETC shall be:
The RETC will meet as circumstances demand.