Canada Nunavut opted out of national emergency alert test, citing not enough cellphones in territory

12:27  16 may  2018
12:27  16 may  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

Canadian phones to get emergency alert tests this week, here's when to expect yours

  Canadian phones to get emergency alert tests this week, here's when to expect yours Canadian phones to get emergency alert tests this week, here's when to expect yours Test signals are to be sent to millions of mobile users in Quebec around mid-morning today and across Ontario in mid-afternoon.

This week in Canada is Emergency Preparedness Week. From May 6 to May 12 cities, provinces, and territories excluding Nunavut , informed citizens on how to be prepared for an emergency situation. This year an expansion of the National Public Alerting System saw test alerts sent over the wireless

But Wednesday's test will be the first time the federal Emergency Alert System – a last resort means for the president to address the country in a national emergency – has been tested on a national basis.

a hand holding a remote control: Nunavut government's emergency management advisor says he's 'glad' the territory didn't take part in the test last week, citing the issues in other provinces and territories.© CBC Nunavut government's emergency management advisor says he's 'glad' the territory didn't take part in the test last week, citing the issues in other provinces and territories.

Unlike the rest of Canada, cell phones are not yet ubiquitous in Nunavut. In fact, about half of the territory's communities are not yet connected by cell service providers.

So when considering whether or not to participate in last week's nationwide emergency alert system , Nunavut took a pass — and it was the only jurisdiction that did.

"I'm almost glad we weren't [taking part] because there were a lot of problems," said Ed Zebedee, the special advisor on emergency management with the government of Nunavut.

Emergency system fails first test in Quebec

  Emergency system fails first test in Quebec UNDATED, Canada - A CRTC spokeswoman says a glitch in the new national public alert system for mobile devices affected the entire province of Quebec this morning. Patricia Valladao says the problem did not originate with cellphone service providers. She says the snafu appears to have occurred between emergency management in Quebec and Pelmorex Corp., which operates the system. Test signals were to be sent to millions of mobile users in Quebec around mid-morning and across Ontario in mid-afternoon.In Quebec, the test was scheduled for 9:55 a.m., while the test in Ontario is still planned for 1:55 p.m.

5 things about wireless emergency alerts . Canada plays catch-up on emergency cellphone alerts . A startling test alert was accidentally sent out at 1:30 a.m., which prompted many to seek ways to opt - out of the system.

These are indeed tests , so it's a good thing we're trying to figure things out here, before the need to use them in a real emergency . Alert tests are planned in B.C. and the rest of the country Wednesday, except for Nunavut .

The alert system was supposed to deliver a test emergency alert to all devices connected on LTE service. The alert did not send at all in Quebec and not everyone who was supposed to receive one in Ontario did.

a man standing in front of a screen: Ed Zebedee is the special advisor on emergency management with the government of Nunavut.© Travis Burke/CBC Ed Zebedee is the special advisor on emergency management with the government of Nunavut.

Both cell service providers in Nunavut, SSi Micro and Bell, have pledged to roll out phone service in all of Nunavut's 25 communities by 2019.

SSi has been gradually connecting the smaller communities throughout 2018 and added Taloyoak to its list of served communities on Monday, bringing the number of its connected communities to nine.

Zebedee said it was unclear how many phones are actually in use in the territory. Nine days before the rest of Canada began testing the alerts, Bell disconnected all the old CDMA phones that were still operating in some Nunavut communities.

Flooding in Okanagan forces more evacuations, school and road closures

  Flooding in Okanagan forces more evacuations, school and road closures Flooding in Okanagan forces more evacuations, school and road closuresFlooding continues to impact communities in the South Okanagan with more people ready to leave at a moment's notice.

Just hours ago, Alert Ready, the new National Public Alerting System was set to perform an emergency alert test to mobile devices across Canada. A total of 2 phones out of 12 received the alert .

The mobile emergency alert system in action. Here’s what you can expect as a user, based on my husband’s experience. You can opt out of AMBER and the weather alerts , but not Presidential Alerts , which encompass news of national authority or concern.

The CDMA phones, mainly older flip phones which do not use SIM card technology, have been slowly phased out across the country since 2017.

Character restrictions pose problems

Another challenge facing Nunavut is the need to put out alerts in all four of the territory's official languages, English, French, Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun.

"The total system is limited to 600 characters so trying to get all four languages in 600 characters is going to be a challenge," Zebedee said.

a close up of a sign: Last week, some smartphones in Ontario received a visual and audio alert from Alert Ready, a national public alert system.© CBC News Last week, some smartphones in Ontario received a visual and audio alert from Alert Ready, a national public alert system.

He said while other jurisdictions can relay more information, all Nunavut will probably be able to do within the character limit is say there's an emergency in this community, and prompt the user to read a page with more information.

Nunavut is gearing up to participate in the next alert test, which Zebedee said he doesn't expect until next year.

Here are provinces, cities in Canada with the highest and lowest rent

  Here are provinces, cities in Canada with the highest and lowest rent Nearly two in 10 renters spend over half of their income to keep a roof over their heads, new data shows.Some 4.4-million adults and families in Canada live in rental housing, making up just under a third of total households. But being a renter in many areas of the country isn't easy, data from a new national rental database show.

In 1997, the FCC gave the system a technological overhaul and a name change to the Emergency Alert System (EAS). Now the weekly test is a shorter First, the National Weather Service sends out the alert on its NOAA ( National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration) Weather Radio (NWR)

In March, the National Weather Service office in Sullivan accidentally sent out a live tornado warning instead of a test . "It kind of frightened me a little bit," the mom recalls. Cell phone providers do give users the option to ' opt out ' of most alerts .

He said missing the first test also means the territory doesn't have to spend lots of hours figuring out what went wrong, as much of the rest of Canada is currently doing.

  • Ontario phones abuzz after test of national alert system, but not all goes as planned
  • Competitive cell service coming to all Nunavut communities by 2019
  • RELATED | 'We have been left behind': Petition calls for better cell service in Winnipegosis
  • Retesting of error-ridden national alert system could take months
  • Complaints about Thunder Bay Amber Alert from other parts of the province 'disheartening': OPP .
    Ontario Provincial Police say they'll continue to do everything in their power to disseminate information about abducted children in the province, despite complaints from some people who received Monday's Amber Alert about a boy in Thunder Bay, via their cell phones. The alert, about an 8-year-old boy in Thunder Bay who was later found safe, went out over the new mobile emergency alert system.

    —   Share news in the SOC. Networks
    This is interesting!