Emergency Declaration

Every year, Saskatchewan faces the possibility of emergencies stemming from both natural and human causes. These include severe winter weather, wildfires, chemical spills, floods and other events.

Municipalities are the first line of defense in an emergency and are responsible under legislation to respond when events threaten the safety of people, property and the environment. Managing emergencies often involves multiple jurisdictions, levels of government, agencies and other emergency responders.

In Saskatchewan, municipalities must establish emergency plans by The Emergency Planning Act, 1989. The plan gives council the responsibility for the direction and control of a municipal emergency response in order to take action to implement the plan and to protect the property, health, safety and welfare of the public.

This legislation requires municipalities to:

  • appoint a municipal planning committee;
  • establish an Emergency Measures (Management) Organization (EMO);
  • appoint an Emergency Coordinator; and
  • prepare an emergency plan.

Only council or a member of council in the absence of a quorum – it is recommended it be head of council or the acting head – can officially declare a state of local emergency in a municipality and exercise the special powers the legislation confers on council. The Act protects municipal officials from personal liability for their decisions and actions provided they are acting in good faith and are not grossly negligent.

The Government of Saskatchewan can also declare an emergency through an Order-in-Council and direct municipal resources or direct one municipality to assist another during the emergency. The legislation also provides for recovering the extraordinary costs of responding to certain emergencies. A copy of The Emergency Planning Act, 1989 should be attached to a municipal emergency plan.

To declare an emergency a member of council must fill out the Declaration of a Local Emergency Form.

Declaration of a Local Emergency
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