Crisis Response

Enhanced wildfire agreement with U.S.

Canada and the U.S. hope to enhance cooperation against wildfires through an arrangement announced June 23 by Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. “Today's arrangement […] will ensure effective cooperation through knowledge - and resource-sharing, advancing our joint efforts to protect livelihoods and communities.” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that “as climate change continues to threaten communities, infrastructure, forests and rangelands, finding new ways to work together is essential.” [node:read-more:link]

New approach to emergency calls

If recommendations in a report prepared for an upcoming City of Ottawa committee meeting are heeded, police officers who respond to mental health and substance use-related calls could be replaced by professionals and outreach workers. It would be part of a three-year pilot project which likely will be watched across the country. [node:read-more:link]

First Responders can be Support Agencies too!

When bad things happen, whether it be on a large scale such as a tornado or a smaller scale such as a motor vehicle collision, the first thing people do is call 911. This call activates a response: first responders including Police, Fire and Paramedics arrive on scene. When these men and women are called upon, they go into action: day in and day out – but engaging with outside agencies may become a more frequent occurrence, and should be trained for. [node:read-more:link]

Mixed reaction to border blockade

Nearly 260 pages of emails made public this week showed that individuals who supported the blockade of an Alberta border crossing into Montana early last year didn’t like how the RCMP carried out their duties. While proponents of a crackdown called the blockading truckers “economic terrorists”, critics resorted to “political hit men” while others likened Canada to Communist regimes and called it “Orwellian.” [node:read-more:link]

Earthquake death toll mounting

More than 11,000 people in Turkey and Syria are now confirmed dead and thousands more remain missing today after a earthquakes and aftershocks in their border region February 6. International rescue teams are racing against time, their work hampered by winter weather, to find survivors in devastated communities but logistics and politics in war-torn Syria exacerbate the difficulties. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP feared insider threat during convoy protest

The RCMP feared that serving Mounties sympathetic to the convoy protest in Ottawa earlier this year might leak operational plans to protesters, says an internal threat advisory obtained by CBC News. "Those who […] are sympathetic to the movement […] may be in a position to share law enforcement or military information to the convoy protests." [node:read-more:link]

Lessons for Organizational Resilience

Three well-known incidents highlight key aspects from which to learn from failure and then improve resilience. Approaching global uncertainty is not unlike going into battle with an unknown adversary. However, there are “known” unknowns, and while recognizing them makes them no less daunting, it does help to better understand the battle space. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly resigns

Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly has resigned amid criticism of his handling of the ongoing trucker protests in downtown Ottawa. Citizens blocking demonstrators from bringing in more fuel and supplies to the occupied areas were asked by police to leave, while, on day 19 of the demonstrations, truckers continue to defy the law with only minor consequences. Sloly resigned from his position as Deputy Police Chief of the Toronto Police Force in 2016, and was selected as Ottawa's Police Chief in 2019. [node:read-more:link]

Wounded Warriors in the civilian world

With some studies suggesting that as many as half of civilian first responders such as firefighters and paramedics suffer from psychological trauma linked to their jobs, Wounded Warriors Canada is collaborating with First Responder Health Services in B.C. on a new digital mental health platform. The partnership is taking its training Canada-wide. [node:read-more:link]

Southern B.C. effectively shut down

Record rain and flooding in B.C., which has washed out rail lines and highways in the Lower Mainland and resulted in evacuations elsewhere, has exacerbated already tight supply chains. Most highways in and out of Vancouver have effectively been shut down, bringing truck traffic to a crawl and all rail traffic in and out of the Port of Vancouver has been halted. [node:read-more:link]

Disaster bills rising rapidly

The cost to the federal government of dealing with natural disasters would indicate that Canada continues to be seriously affected by climate change. Public Safety Canada says the amount was $309.5 million in the 2018-2019 fiscal year compared with $494.9 million a year earlier and $485.8 million in 2016-2017. The average in the five previous years was $360 million, which was triple the average in the five years before that. [node:read-more:link]

Bogus coronavirus reports

The Public Health Agency of Canada says there is no connection between the slowly-spreading coronavirus outbreak and the ouster of two Chinese scientists last year from the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg. The “baseless” rumor has been spread on social media, including within China.  [node:read-more:link]

Bracing for a pandemic

Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says stringent measures are being taken to guard against the spread of the Covid-19 corona virus and that they could include a ban on large public gatherings. Meanwhile, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, has suggested that the growing global list of diagnoses “suggest it’s likely that this virus will cause a pandemic.” [node:read-more:link]

Covid-19 vector still uncertain

Scientists in a number of countries trying to identify the origins of the latest corona virus, Covid-19, are questioning Chinese suggestions that the vector was an endangered species which is still considered a delicacy. Chinese geneticists had identified the ant-eating pangolin as a probable source but a re-examination of their data, coupled with three other pangolin studies, suggests the findings, while not discounting pangolins completely, are inconclusive. [node:read-more:link]

Italy quarantines huge region

Up to 16 million residents in parts of central and northern Italy have been placed under quarantine in an effort to contain a Covid-19 outbreak. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also announced the closure of schools, gyms, museums, nightclubs and other venues across the country. [node:read-more:link]


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