Canada Boosts Disaster Response Capacity for Large-Scale Disasters

Public Safety Canada

Ottawa, Ontario

Across the country, Canadians are more and more often facing the realities of natural disasters - like wildfires, floods and hurricanes. The Government of Canada's priority is always keeping people safe. When these events occur, the federal government responds to requests for assistance from provinces and territories to help coordinate support when and where it's needed. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are a key part of Canadian response efforts.

Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, President of the King's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, announced an additional $82 million over three years for the Supporting a Humanitarian Workforce to Respond to COVID-19 and Other Large-Scale Emergencies (HWF) program. This funding builds on investments initially made under the program when it was established in year 2021.

The funding announced today will allow the Canadian Red Cross, St. John Ambulance, The Salvation Army and the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC) to maintain a highly skilled and qualified group of volunteer emergency responders and emergency management professionals who can rapidly deploy on short notice to support the response to emergency events. Additionally, this funding will enable them to recruit and train response teams, purchase equipment and supplies, strengthen governance, and adapt their protocols and procedures to address the needs of specific communities, including vulnerable populations.

As the Government invests in everything from training more wildfire fighters, to Canada's first National Adaptation Strategy, today's announcement represents another important step in building readiness and response capacity, to keep pace with the evolving risk environment. The Government of Canada will continue to work closely with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners, NGOs and other stakeholders as we work to bolster our pan-Canadian civilian response capacity and keep Canadians and their communities safe and healthy.

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