Ontario Preparing Communities for Emergencies

Province’s first annual report on emergency management highlights progress in plans to keep Ontario safe

April 09, 2024

Treasury Board Secretariat

Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
  4. Additional Resources
  5. Related Topics

TORONTO — Today, the Government of Ontario released its first annual report on the Provincial Emergency Management Strategy and Action Plan, highlighting key actions the province is taking to ensure communities across Ontario are safe, practiced and prepared before, during and after emergencies such as floods, wildland fires and cyber attacks.

“There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of everyone in Ontario,” said Caroline Mulroney, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Emergency Management. “As the first province in Canada to require public reporting on emergency management progress, we are ensuring Ontario has the right plans, people and equipment in place to respond to emergencies now and in the future.”

The province collaborated with municipal and Indigenous partners to highlight the progress we have made since releasing the plan in 2023. Those accomplishments include:

  • Leading and participating in 85 emergency exercises and drills with both government and non-government partners to strengthen emergency practice and preparedness.
  • Delivering 336 emergency management courses to over 13,800 participants.
  • Launching the Community Emergency Preparedness Grant to help communities and organizations purchase critical emergency equipment and supplies.
  • Making emergency management training more culturally appropriate and relevant for Indigenous partners by developing courses that support their needs and the types of situations they face.
  • Providing municipalities and provincial partners with resources to help them plan, set up and coordinate emergency exercises on their own.
  • Launching the Provincial Exercise Program, a multi-year plan to exercise, test and strengthen multi-sector emergency plans and whole-of-government emergency response.

The report also highlights priorities for the future of emergency management in Ontario. This includes continuing to use data and digital tools to help communities prepare for potential emergencies, including extreme weather events.

“Ontario is a leader in emergency management. By harnessing the Ontario spirit, we are building a stronger and more resilient province together,” said Minister Mulroney.

Quick Facts

  • In 2023, Emergency Management Ontario reported 28 local emergency declarations and 280 significant emergency incidents across the province.
  • There were 86 deployments in 2023 by Emergency Management Ontario staff to communities to assist with emergencies.
  • Ontario strengthened collaboration during coordinated responses to emergencies across the province. This included the safe evacuation of 3,519 community members in 2023.
  • This year, the province is hosting Exercise Heatwave, a simulated heat-related emergency taking place with participating municipalities from May 7-9, 2024, that will practise response procedures working in partnership with others.


“The Provincial Emergency Management Strategy and Action Plan has been another key step to ensuring that First Nation communities are prepared and able to respond to emergencies. The support for the Independent First Nations Alliance training exercises has allowed our team and member communities to be better prepared for the future. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Emergency Management Ontario and working with all partners to enhance opportunities for sustainable Indigenous-led emergency management and all-hazards response.”

– Mathew Hoppe
Chief Executive Officer, Independent First Nations Alliance

Additional Resources

Related Topics

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