The Northwest Territories government says it won’t be participating in public alert testing on Wednesday “to avoid confusion” in the event that they need to issue a real alert due to flooding.
In a press release on Monday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said test alerts would be distributed on TV, radio, and compatible mobile devices across Canada except for Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Nunavut.
The NWT government, however, subsequently contacted Cabin Radio to state that the territory had decided not to participate in the alert testing at this time. A spokesperson for the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs said in an email that if a flood occurs and requires evacuation, an alert may be sent via the territory’s alert system.
“Based on previous testing and issuing an alert last flood season, the GNWT has confidence in the effectiveness of the NWT Alert system and therefore does not feel a test is in the best interest of public safety at this time,” the email states.
The NWT government recently warned residents of a high risk of flooding this spring due to high water levels and fast flow rates.
The national public alert system allows emergency management organizations across Canada to warn the public about imminent or possible dangers including floods, tornadoes, and other disasters. The system is also used for amber alerts.