The Alberta Government has proposed changes to the Emergency Management Act.

The changes would update rules and regulations to help communities improve their response to disasters.

The proposed changes include protecting first responders by clarifying their liability if people don't follow evacuation orders, clarifying the lead person authorized to act on the minister's behalf during a state of emergency, and how disputes are to be handled when property is damaged by emergency response, not by the actual emergency.

Municipal Affairs Minister, Shaye Anderson, says the Bill will also allow the creation of a new Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation which will give clear direction on emergency management practices for municipalities.

"We will be able to offer additional clarity to ensure everyone understands what role they play in emergency management, provide direction so that all local emergency managers are well trained, and encourage municipalities to work together ahead of emergencies and to pool their resources."

Anderson, says they haven't had any push back on these changes.

"Most of the things we hear about are talking about clarifying roles and responsibilities just to make sure everyone knows where they are and on the same page, so that's what everyone's pushing for."

The Bill will be open to feedback from local elected officials, municipal directors of emergency management, Metis settlements, and First Nations communities starting in June.

The proposed amendments will then be discussed in the fall legislative session.

 

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