November 24, 2020 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
On November 25, 2020, all provincial and territorial emergency management organizations will conduct public alerting tests in Canada, except for Nunavut. As such, test alerts will be distributed on TV, radio and compatible mobile devices connected to a LTE (long-term evolution) or a newer wireless network (5G) in all provinces and territories.
Ongoing testing of the National Public Alerting System provides an opportunity for stakeholders to validate and improve the system’s performance and reliability to ensure it operates as intended in the event of a life-threatening situation.
The messages will be identified as test alerts and will not require Canadians to take action.
They will be sent out according to the following schedule:
November 25, 2020
- Alberta 1:55 PM (MST)
- British Columbia 1:55 PM (PST)
- Manitoba 1:55 PM (CST)
- New Brunswick 10:55 AM (AST)
- Newfoundland & Labrador 10:55 AM (NST)
- Northwest Territories 9:55 AM (MST)
- Nova Scotia 1:55 PM (AST)
- Nunavut *no test scheduled*
- Ontario 12:55 PM (EST)
- Prince Edward Island 12:55 PM (AST)
- Quebec 1:55 PM (EST)
- Saskatchewan 1:55 PM (CST)
- Yukon 1:55 PM (MST)
For a wireless device to receive a test alert, it must be:
- Connected to an LTE wireless or a newer wireless network (5G) at the time the test alert is issued;
- Wireless public alerting (WPA) compatible; and
- Equipped with a recent Canadian version of its operating software.
If a mobile device meets these conditions and did not receive the test, Canadians should contact their wireless service provider.
To learn more about test alerts, Canadians should visit Alert Ready.
- Since January 2019, hundreds of emergency alert messages were successfully transmitted by emergency management officials to warn Canadians of a potentially life-threatening situation. These alerts have been credited with saving lives.
- Public alerts are important in times of crisis and have recently been used to relay crucial information to the public regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
- All devices sold by wireless service providers after April 6, 2019, are expected to be compatible with wireless public alerting.
- Compatible devices may react differently to public alerts, depending on the phone’s brand, model and operating system.
- The National Public Alerting System involves various stakeholders:
- Public Safety Canada is the lead federal department responsible for emergency management and coordinates the development of policies for public alerting with federal, provincial and territorial stakeholders.
- Emergency alert messages are issued by federal, provincial and territorial governments as well as designated emergency management officials to warn the public of imminent threats, such as fires, tornadoes, floods and Amber Alerts.
- Provincial officials are responsible for issuing scheduled test messages.
- Pelmorex Inc. operates the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System, which disseminates alerts to broadcasters and wireless service providers.
- The CRTC regulates the broadcasting and telecommunications service providers that distribute emergency alerts to the public.
- Radio, television and television service providers broadcast the messages.
- Wireless service providers deliver alerts to wireless cellular devices.
- Telecom Decision CRTC 2019‑239 – Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management – Application to modify the wireless public alerting visible test schedule
- CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee – Consensus reports on a proposed wireless public alerting test alert schedule and methodology
- CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee – Consensus report on a proposed wireless public alerting awareness and education campaign
- Implementation of the National Public Alerting System by wireless service providers to protect Canadians
- Notice of Consultation – Participation by wireless service providers in the National Public Alerting System