Mark Goldberg


This is a test. This is only a test has advised there will be another test of Canada’s emergency alert system on May 8.

It would also be a good time for authorities to review how the system has performed since going into service last year.

There have been a number of Amber Alerts issued and public safety officials have correctly credited the system as a significant contributor to a more rapid resolution of the cases.

That doesn’t mean the system can’t be improved. In February, I suggested that perhaps “Canada should have a multi-agency formal process to review each use of the National Public Alert System, to help develop best practices”:

Many commentators have scoffed at consumers who react negatively to the alerts, saying that the life a child is worth being disturbed once in a while. I think we should be considering those criticisms as an opportunity to see if the processes can be improved. Are the alerts being sent to the appropriate geography (wide enough or too wide)? Is the level of information appropriate?

Each time the trigger is pulled to transmit an alert, millions of people are being impacted, and at least one life is in imminent danger. Wouldn’t we want to make sure that alerts are following the best possible practices?

[May 2, 2019] Alert Ready advises that the test scheduled for May 8 will not take place in Ontario and Quebec due to flooding.

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