The Board of Public Safety Canada’s recent decision to eliminate the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program (JEPP) will significantly affect the Regional District of Nanaimo’s (RDN) Emergency Preparedness Program, both in terms of training staff and in purchasing key equipment and supplies.
“The RDN applies for JEPP funding annually to assist with purchasing Emergency Operations Centre equipment, and with conducting training and emergency preparedness exercises”, explained Jani Drew, RDN Emergency Coordinator. “The RDN will need to look at other options for funding these important purchases when the JEPP program is eliminated in 2013”.
Public Safety Canada established the JEPPProgram in October, 1980 as a cost-sharing arrangement with the provinces and territories. The funding offered through the program encouraged governments to undertake emergency preparedness projects. As part of its Economic Action Plan 2012, the federal government ended the program to help reduce the deficit.
According to Public Safety Canada, “The original objectives of this program, namely, to enhance local emergency preparedness and response capacity, have been met”.
The RDN Emergency Program has used JEPP funding annually to assist with the purchase of emergency supplies and equipment, and to provide training opportunities to enhance the RDN’s capacity for response and recovery. Since 2004, the RDN’s 50 per cent funding reimbursement from JEPP totals approximately $49,000.
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