A Comparative Analysis Between the Canadian Emergency Management Framework and Federal, Provincial, Territorial Legislation
May 15, 2007
Disaster and Emergency Management Practice 510
Instructor: Ron Kuban
Royal Roads University, Master Arts Disaster and Emergency Management Program
A Look at the Numbers3
In the Event of Emergency4
Appendix A – Legislative Definitions10
Appendix B – In the Event of an Emergency30
This paper compares Canada’s current Federal, Provincial and Territorial legislation and The Emergency Management Framework for Canada. Several variables were considered in this analysis. In particular, an understanding of the ability to work together and with varying government levels was to be determined. In addition to the legislation and framework document, consideration was given to relevant research on group interactions, including analysis of government department and level interactions, during emergencies. Although, the research considered was primarily conduced in the United States, due to the cultural similarities between US and Canadian citizens and government employees the research findings are considered to be strongly relevant. A large number of discrepancies and outright contradictions were found between the individual legislation for each province and territory. Additionally, there were significant areas of divergence between the federal and provincial/territorial legislation and between the framework and the legislation. However, when these differences are considered in conjunction with the sociological research on group interactions, the outlook for a cohesive emergency response between and among Canadian government is excellent.
A Look at the Numbers
Fourteen consolidated pieces of legislation and one framework document were compared. Within the set there are 143 definitions for 82 words, 135 of the definitions are unique. (Appendix A – Legislative Definitions) While the number of definitions seems large, the majority of them do not directly affect the process of disaster and emergency management, for example, there are four definitions each for “declaration of state of emergency” and “declaration of a state of local emergency” however, these definitions vary only in the referenced subsection of the act. Similarly, there are eight definitions for “Minister” again; the difference is not substantive, only the name for each minister is different. Surprisingly, however, there are eight different definitions for disaster and twelve for emergency. The only reason there are not more definitions of emergency is; there is no definition for emergency in the Federal legislation or in Quebec or Newfoundland’s legislation. How then, with this wide array of definitions for common elements between the legislation are the various governments to work together harmoniously? Leaving aside for a moment the exact definitions of emergency and disaster, let’s first take a look at the work they will do in an emergency or disaster situation.
In the Event of Emergency
Since it is during an actual cross jurisdictional emergency or disaster that the various levels and ministries of government will have to work together to accomplish immediate and high impact goals, the sections of the legislation specifically related to a disaster or emergency event occurrence which were considered. In particular, the following sections were considered: • Declaration of Emergency
o What the declaration must include
o The effective duration of the declaration
• Powers granted by the declaration
• Delegation of the powers
• Continuity of...