Emergency Issues Management

on September 12, 2014

Emergency Issues Management (AFN-EIM):

The Assembly of First Nations, having taken on the Emergency Issues Management file in June 2010, has been advocating for a greater voice for First Nations in the development of emergency management as it affects them, including emergency preparedness and response and capacity building and training; working in conjunction with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, AFM – EIM monitors and reports on events that may affect the health and safety of First Nation communities to AFN and its representative regions, these include:  emergencies due to natural disasters such as Flooding and Wildfires, and monitoring the delivery of emergency response services from provincial and federal organizations for their comparability to non-native communities of similar size and circumstance; work  is also being done in either developing or already working with various federal and provincial organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) that have an emergency management component to them and a relationship history with First Nations.

AFN – EIM had been, until recently removed from the group,  cooperating with the Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management/ Aboriginal Working Group  (SOREM-AWG) in the development of the Guidelines to Developing Emergency Services Agreements in On-Reserve First Nations, and the Principles Document, as well as advocating for a greater voice and involvement for First Nations in the development of the federal / provincial bilateral service agreements.

Transport Canada – Transportation of Dangerous Goods
Work is also being done in conjunction with Transport Canada on the newly formed Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) General Policy Advisory Council  to examine and comment on the amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG Regulations) as they might concern First Nations with rail lines passing in, on, or near their territories in AFN’s representative regions. On March 19, 2014 the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, invited AFN to join her General Policy Advisory Council. The Council provides the Minister with policy, regulatory and standard development advice. It also provides members with the opportunity to educate the Council on issues important to the member related to the transport of dangerous goods in Canada. The Council operates on consensus where members are expected to bring expert advice to the table. The Council is comprised of working level members and experts from Industry, Industry Associations, modal shippers, Unions, Municipalities and First Responders.

AFN attended its first meeting on May 15, 2014 where AFN roles and responsibilities regarding advocacy and felicitation and concerns about the need to consult with First Nations were presented. Since then AFN has facilitated dissemination of information seeking membership in a TDG Emergency Response Task Force. The TDG Emergency Response Task Force has been established to conduct further research, assess, evaluate and make recommendations to advance and make improvements to the Emergency Response Assistance Program (ERAP) program. The Task Force will be focused primarily on the transport of flammable liquids by rail and would bring stakeholders such as municipalities, first responders, railways, and shippers together to strengthen emergency response capacity across the country.

Evaluation of the Emergency Management Assistance Program

The 2010 Evaluation of the Emergency Management Assistance Program recommended that INAC clarify its roles and responsibilities as they relate to emergency management. This process should consider the current environment of emergency management, specifically the implications of the 2007 Emergency Management Act (EMA). To do so, the Department must define relationships with all external stakeholders and put in place the appropriate governance structures and agreements to ensure fulfillment of responsibilities related to emergency management. All aspects of emergency management should be considered in this process, with particular emphasis on the following areas:

a) The precise role of the Department in emergency management in the three northern territories.

b) The precise role of the Department with respect to emergencies that fall within the responsibility of another department or jurisdiction (such as health issues and civil unrest).

c) The program delivery mechanisms and structure relating to the four pillars of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities.

d) Horizontal engagement of other relevant INAC programs that have a potential to contribute to an all-hazards approach to emergency management, such as capital infrastructure in mitigation projects or land claims in civil unrest issues.

It further recommended that INAC consider a revised funding structure, to alleviate the impact on regions, other program areas, and communities and provide a secure funding base for the Department’s emergency activities. To facilitate this transition, INAC should document its existing funding for emergency management programming and develop forecasts for future expenses relating to an all hazards approach to emergency management.

INAC should also identify appropriate resources in alignment with its roles and responsibilities. Specifically, ensuring that the Department has the ability to provide preparedness and mitigation services in accordance with Departmental obligations under the EMA.

Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada
The Aboriginal Fire-fighters Association of Canada is united body of regional First Nations Fire Protection Associations from across Canada established to:

  • Represent the interests of these associations nationally;
  • Assist in the exchange of information;
  • Support the implementation of services;
  • Promote national standards in fire prevention, education and suppression within First Nations in Canada.

First Nations Emergency Services Society
First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of BC (FNESS) is incorporated under the Society Act of BC and qualifies as a non-profit society under the Federal Income Tax Act. FNESS operates under the governance of a First Nations Board of Directors, all members of a BC First Nation. We are dedicated to building capacity within First Nations communities by increasing the safety, security and wellbeing of First Nations people throughout the Province of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. Our mission is to assist First Nations in developing and sustaining safer and healthier communities by providing programs, services and related training and education.

First Nations Technical Services Advisory Group
First Nations (AB) Technical Services Advisory Group (TSAG) is a not-for-profit organization that provides technical services and training for Alberta First Nations in the Treaty 6, Treaty 7 and Treaty 8 areas. Our goal is to assist First Nation communities in achieving and maintaining high standards in technology and services. We never stop collectively delivering better solutions with greater benefits, thereby providing community members with a solid foundation for healthy living.

Manitoba Association Of Native Firefighters
The Manitoba Association of Native Firefighters Inc. (MANFF) is a non-profit organization based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Since 1991, MANFF has been working towards the greater development of emergency knowledge and services throughout Manitoba’s First Nation communities.
Our mission is to promote a greater awareness of Fire Safety and Emergency Preparedness on First Nation communities; and our Vision is to have an effective emergency program established by each First Nation to protect life and property.

Ontario Native Firefighters Society
This non-profit organization is designed to promote fire protection, provide training and education with regard to fire prevention, and to co-ordinate activities regarding all aspects and initiatives of the fire services program. The ONFFS has provided fire protection in citizens’ lives and personal and private property through its membership’s growth. The ONFFS is committed to this continued growth and it’s increased protection. The increased expertise, in firefighting and protection of First Nation communities is continuing.

Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation
The OFNTSC is a technical advisory service corporation for all 134 First Nations in Ontario; this includes 16 Tribal Councils, six large First Nations and 18 unaffiliated First Nations. OFNTSC also provides useful information on technical services to First Nations.

These two organizations deal with risk management, and emergency preparedness and response in the event of a crisis; they are being listed as a provider of valuable and applicable information.

Canadian Risk and Hazards Network
The CRHNet is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 2003 in response to a growing demand to promote and strengthen disaster risk reduction and emergency management in Canada. The Network creates an environment in which the hazards research, education and emergency management practitioner communities can effectively share knowledge and innovative approaches that reduce disaster vulnerability.

Get Prepared
The campaign includes a range of publications and promotional materials, a dedicated websitewww.GetPrepared.ca, social media, advertising, collaborative arrangements, exhibits and special events such as Emergency Preparedness Week, held the first week each May.
The campaign has proven successful, with each year showing an increase in the percentage of Canadians taking action to prepare.  Since the campaign was launched, approximately three million unique visitors have accessed the campaign website (www.GetPrepared.ca) and over two million emergency preparedness publications have been distributed by Public Safety Canada and partners.

These organizations are listed as non – native fire service program providers that have connections to First Nations firefighters; they are being listed as a source if information on fire

Fire Protection
Fire Prevention Canada’s Mission: To increase the awareness of fire prevention and safety through direct education of the public. The organizations goal is to reduce the number of mostly preventable residential fires across this country, many of which are fatal. The Council of Canadian Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners is a member of Fire Prevention Canada and helps manage its affairs.

These organizations deal with emergency management and response during a crisis and have links to First Nations across the country; they are being listed as a resource.

The Canadian Red Cross
The Canadian Red Cross’ mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world. The CRC is the leading humanitarian organization through which people voluntarily demonstrate their caring for others in need.  Our network is vast, but our approach is simple. All Red Cross programs and activities are guided by the Fundamental Principles of Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality. These principles allow us to provide help immediately to whoever needs it, wherever they are, whatever their race, political beliefs, religion, social status, or culture.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and every day in 400 communities across Canada and more than 120 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, provides shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction.

AANDC is listed as the parent site with links to information on their service to First Nations; they are listed as a resource for that information.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
AANDC is one of the federal government departments responsible for meeting the Government of Canada’s obligations and commitments to First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and for fulfilling the federal government’s constitutional responsibilities in the North. AANDC’s responsibilities are largely determined by numerous statutes, negotiated agreements and relevant legal decisions. Most of the Department’s programs, representing a majority of its spending – are delivered through partnerships with Aboriginal communities and federal-provincial or federal-territorial agreements. AANDC also works with urban Aboriginal people, Métis and Non-Status Indians (many of whom live in rural areas)

Public Safety is listed as the parent site with links to their service to First Nations; they are listed as a resource for the federal documents on emergency management and preparedness.

Public Health is listed as the parent site with links to their programs on emergency preparedness and response, their pandemic toolkit, and their center for emergency preparedness and response; they have links to First Nations and are listed as a source of valuable and applicable information.

CMHC is an organization that provides housing services for Canada; particularly to First Nations they provide a fire prevention program when building a house.

rdbrinkhurstEmergency Issues Management