WINNIPEG, MB, Nov. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt,
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today at the
meeting of provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for
Aboriginal Affairs and Leaders of the National Aboriginal
Organizations, announced that the Government of Canada is taking action
to strengthen emergency management support to First Nation communities.
"The health and safety of First Nation communities is a priority for our
Government, including timely, effective and efficient support in times
of emergency," said Minister Valcourt. "That is why we are taking
action to ensure that all residents of First Nation communities receive
emergency services comparable to those that protect every other
Canadian. We will work with provinces and territories to support
stronger and more resilient First Nation communities."
This new approach will allow the Government of Canada to build on
successful agreements already in place, such as the formal agreement
that the federal government has with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency. This agreement facilitated successful response and quick recovery
efforts for the First Nation communities affected by the major flooding
event in Alberta earlier this year. The Government intends to work
towards similar agreements with all provinces and territories.
"Our Government is ensuring First Nation communities are supported
during emergency events," said the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister
of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. "A comprehensive single
window will make it easier for provinces and territories and First
Nations to access federal funding for on-reserve emergency management
costs and is a positive improvement for the Emergency Management
"The Alberta Government was able to respond quickly to the needs of
First Nations when the floods hit due to the relationships we have with
the individual communities and the agreement we have in place through
the Alberta Emergency Management Agency. I'm encouraged to see the
Federal government make changes that will support First Nations in
emergency situations and provide a quicker response," said the
Honourable Robin Campbell, Alberta Minister of Aboriginal Relations.
"The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to providing the same level
of emergency management services to First Nations as we provide to
non-First Nation communities. We look forward to working with the
federal government and First Nation emergency management partners so we
can continue to improve the level of emergency preparedness across
Saskatchewan," said the Honourable Jim Reiter, Saskatchewan's Minister
Responsible First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs.
The Government of Canada will:
create a new single-window for First Nations to secure funding for
emergency costs, including those previously funded under the Disaster
Financial Assistance Arrangements, which will eliminate overlap and
provide First Nations and provinces and territories improved access to
emergency funding when needed;
provide $19.1 million from within the Government's resources to
facilitate negotiation and implementation of new or renewed agreements
with provinces and territories and support emergency preparedness
activities including the development of emergency management plans for
First Nation communities;
commit stable funding for response and recovery activities, which in
turn would provide greater certainty to First Nations, provinces and
territories and confirm our commitment to address their needs; and
revise the Emergency Management Assistance Program to provide greater
clarity about expense eligibility and strengthen program management.
As bilateral agreements for emergency management on-reserve are improved
or negotiated with provinces and territories, the federal government
will continue to work in partnership with First Nations. This important
work will begin with outreach to the provinces and territories today.
The Government of Canada is taking action across all four pillars of
emergency management: response, recovery, preparedness and mitigation,
to help ensure that First Nation communities have access to robust and
effective emergency management regimes.
SOURCE: Government of Canada
For further information:
Backgrounder: Emergency Management Assistance Program (EMAP)
This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
Development Canada Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
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