Stay alert for a Canada-wide alert message scheduled for Nov. 27

A smartphone and a television receive visual and audio alerts to test Alert Ready, a national public alert system, in Montreal on Monday, May 7, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)
A smartphone and a television receive visual and audio alerts to test Alert Ready, a national public alert system, in Montreal on Monday, May 7, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)

Don’t be alarmed if you receive or hear an emergency alert on Wednesday. That’s when Alert Ready, Canada’s emergency alert system, is scheduled to send out a test message across the country through various mediums.

Provinces and territories that are taking part in the practice will issue a test message through television, radio and compatible wireless devices at different times throughout the day. Since April 6, all new phones sold in Canada are compatible with the Wireless Public Alerting service.

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When the alert is sent out, a message appears on the phone saying that it is a test message. It will not require users to take action.

The alert will be tested throughout the country during the following times:

Alert Ready Test Times - November 27, 2019

Province/Territory

Test Time

Alberta

1:55 PM MST

British Columbia

1:55 PM PST

Manitoba

1:55 PM CST

New Brunswick

10:55 AM AST

Newfoundland & Labrador

10:55 AM NST

Northwest Territories

9:55 AM MST

Nova Scotia

1:55 PM AST

Nunavut

No test scheduled

Ontario

2:55 PM EST

Prince Edward Island

12:55 PM AST

Quebec

1:55 PM EST

Saskatchewan

1:55 PM CST

Yukon

1:55 PM PST

This system has been in place since 2010, alerting the public of emergencies through radio and television. The program expanded to compatible wireless devices in 2018. Since the start of this year, Alert Ready has helped government officials send out 130 emergency alerts, and 1,413 since the program first started nearly 20 years ago.

Pelmorex, the company that runs Alert Ready, says regular testing across the country is an important part of helping the system run smoothly. Testing this nation-wide system on a consistent basis helps improve the performance and reliability, should an impending and life-threatening situation occurs. 

Canadians have mixed feelings on the system. Some consider it necessary for public safety, while others find it invasive. 

Some Canadians have expressed concerned if they didn’t receive past alerts.

Canadians do not have the option to opt-out from getting the alert on their mobile devices.

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