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Many say no emergency alert received; province calls test a success
Published Wednesday, May 9, 2018 2:33PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, May 9, 2018 6:21PM CST
The province is calling a test of the emergency alert system in Saskatchewan on Wednesday a success, despite the fact that many Saskatchewan residents say they received the alert late, or not at all.
Residents were supposed to receive an alert on mobile devices, televisions and radio at 1:55 p.m. CST to test the system. Many are reporting that they never received the alert, or that the alert never came at all.
“This test was very successful in terms of new technology, new way to alert people,” said Duane McKay, Assistant Deputy Minister and Commissioner of Emergency Management and Fire Safety. “A few phones didn’t go off, but other than that it went fairly well.”
This was one of the first tests performed with push notifications to cell phone. Any resident with an LTE phone should have received the alert, regardless of whether or not they had any particular apps installed, or if they had signed up for a municipal emergency alert system.
The alerts are part of a national program called Alert Ready which is designed to alert residents of natural disasters, like fires or floods, or Amber Alerts about abducted children. It’s also part of a mandate by the CRTC that ruled that by April 6, 2018, everyone on an LTE network must be able to receive the same types of alerts broadcast on radio or TV.
“People cannot opt out of this,” CRTC spokeswoman Patricia Valladao said in March. “There is a high importance that people -- want it or not -- receive these alerts.”
However, this isn’t the first report of issues with the system. Test alerts in Quebec failed to go out on Monday, and only some users received alerts in Ontario.
Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Yukon and Northwest Territories were also scheduled to receive alerts today.
McKay says anyone who did not receive an alert should contact their cellular provider.