Fed's cut emergency planning funding 0
The County of Renfrew is calling on Ottawa to restore emergency planning funding cut from the recent federal budget.
Administered by Public Safety Canada, the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program (JEPP) was established to enhance the national capacity to respond to all types of emergencies and to enhance the resiliency of critical infrastructure.
Annually, the government has spent almost $6.5 million a year on JEPP, with $2.1 million going to the urban rescue teams. That money will be cut as of next year, county council learned recently.
Council endorsed a resolution from the health committee to urge the government to restore JEPP funding to 2009 levels for emergency preparedness and to ensure there is an ongoing effective program that can build federal, provincial and municipal capacity to meet emergencies.
“We’re hoping they will restore the JEPP funding,” said Head, Clara, Maria reeve Tammy Stewart, the committee’s co-chair.
JEPP funding has been used to purchase equipment for the city of Pembroke Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and generators for the town of Petawawa’s EOC. It has become a vital funding mechanism for municipalities preparing for a worst case scenario, added Reeve Stewart.
“If enough of the municipalities put the pressure on then anything can be reversed,” she said. “This is a necessity in our area and I’m sure in other areas.”
JEPP projects are proposed annually by the provincial and territorial governments and are cost shared. The federal contribution was dependent on the nature of the project, other projects under consideration, and the amount of funds available. The maximum federal contribution is 75 per cent.
Sean Chase is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist