Official Statement

For Immediate Release

Regarding Emergency alert issued in error on January 12, 2020

Pickering, ON, February 27, 2020 – As you are all aware, a false nuclear alert was issued province-wide on January 12, 2020. This significant error created a great deal of angst in our community and beyond. Consequently, the Solicitor General, Sylvia Jones, and our MPP, Peter Bethlenfalvy committed to having a full investigation conducted on the matter.

The Solicitor General has personally followed up with me and provided my office with a comprehensive 20-page investigative report on what had occurred on January 12th.  The findings revealed procedural gaps, lack of training, lack of familiarity with the Alert Ready system, and communication failures. These findings can provide context to the error and the length of time – 108 minutes – that elapsed between the alert issued in error and the second clarifying alert. 

We were also provided with a 15-point Action Plan which outlines corrective actions taken and planned to help prevent future errors in emergency notifications and to strengthen Ontario’s public alerting system.

On behalf of the Members of Council and residents of the City of Pickering, we would like to thank the Ministry of the Solicitor General and Province of Ontario for taking this matter very seriously, by ensuring that a robust investigation was conducted, which has led to meaningful corrective actions being implemented.

If there is a silver lining from this unfortunate situation, it is that we have renewed confidence in the province’s public alerting system, and that the whole community has become engaged in a broader discussion on emergency preparedness.

~ Mayor Dave Ryan

View the Office of the Provincial Security Advisor Investigation