News release

Executive Leadership Group Established for Provincial Emergencies

Emergency Management Minister Ramona Jennex has named a new executive leadership committee to advise her on the co-ordination of responses to all provincial emergencies. The executive emergency management committee will provide leadership and accountability.

"The Emergency Management Office has seen the auditor general's recent comments as an opportunity to clarify the role and membership of the executive group that sits at the top of the incident command structure," said Ms. Jennex.

"I am pleased to know that when an emergency hits, I have quick access to the key players I need to make timely decisions that help to ensure the safety of Nova Scotians."

The executive emergency management committee will be chaired by the Minister of Emergency Management and members include the deputy minister to the premier, the deputy ministers of the Treasury Board and Justice, and the chief executive officer and deputy head of the Emergency Management Office. The minister can also appoint experts as advisors when necessary.

In light of the H1N1 (human swine influenza) pandemic the membership will be expanded to include the Minister of Health, the deputy ministers of Health Promotion and Protection and Health and the chief medical officer of health. The committee will meet regularly, monitor the situation and be ready to act if the situation worsens.

The Emergency Management Office currently works within the incident command structure to manage its response to emergencies. As part of this internationally recognized management model for emergency response, an executive team presides at the top. While the emergency management minister, and chief executive officer and deputy head, have traditionally made up this team, this has never been documented within the structure's framework.

The minister has authority under existing legislation to create this committee, but the Emergency Management Act is outdated and amendments will be presented in the legislature this fall to establish the executive emergency management committee, and outline its members, role, and mandate.

The committee will finalize a terms of reference and how it will work. It will meet regularly, but more often when there is an emergency.

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Emergency Management Minister Ramona Jennex has named a new executive leadership committee to advise her on the co- ordination of responses to all provincial emergencies.

The minister says that when an emergency hits, she and the committee can make timely decisions to ensure the safety of Nova Scotians.

The executive emergency management committee is chaired by the minister, and includes key government deputy ministers and experts. In light of the current H1N1 (human swine influenza) pandemic representatives from the departments of Health and Health Promotion and Protection have been asked to sit on the committee.

Naming the members of this executive team fulfills one of the recent recommendations made by Nova Scotia's auditor general.

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Media Contact:

Michelle R. Lucas
Emergency Management Office 902-424-0284 Cell: 902-220-7956 E-mail: