The Emergency Management Program
In an effort to minimize the impact of disasters and emergencies, Ontario passed the Emergency Management Act. This legislation requires the provincial government to establish detailed Emergency Management Programs. Further, Order-in-Council 1157/2009 assigns 13 ministries with special responsibilities for emergencies. The Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) has been assigned the responsibility of responding to "any emergency related to the administration of justice including operation of the courts; and provision of legal services to government in any emergency".
The Ministry Emergency Management Program is composed of four primary components:
1. Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment (HIRA)
The Ministry Emergency Management Program takes a comprehensive approach to identifying hazards and risks that are most likely to impact the Ministry.
In 2005, 22 workshops were delivered to over 200 MAG staff across the province to assist them in understanding and completing the HIRA. The HIRA forms the foundation of the Ministry's efforts to develop practical business continuity plans and improve Ministry and Government of Ontario emergency preparedness.
2. Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
The Ministry Business Continuity Plan is an essential component of the Ministry Emergency Management Program and helps ensure that the Ministry is able to deliver critical services during an emergency and resume full operations quickly after an emergency.
Based on management's understanding of past occurrence and future likelihood of incidents, and based on the results of the HIRA Report, the Ministry developed its Business Continuity Plan to formally establish what services will be delivered during an emergency and how services will resume after an emergency. It lays out the Ministry priorities with respect to the use of Ministry resources and staff. This risk-based approach outlines the steps necessary to get the right people and resources effectively and efficiently directed towards responding to incidents that affect the administration of justice including the operation of the courts; and MAG's provision of legal services to government in any emergency.
Critical services in an emergency include:
- Providing uninterrupted access to justice (bail, remand, search warrants, child protection matters, etc.);
- Assisting vulnerable persons (Office of the Children's Lawyer, Public Guardian & Trustee, Victim Services);
- Overseeing the 23 seconded Legal Services Branches; and
- Acting as legal advisor to government.
3. Ministry Emergency Response Plan (MERP)
Section 6 of Emergency Management Act and its associated Order-in-Council, O.C. 1157/2009 explicitly directs provincial ministers who have been assigned responsibilities for specific types of emergencies to formulate emergency plans governing the provision of necessary services during an emergency and the procedures under and the manner in which Crown employees and other persons will respond to an emergency.
The Ministry has developed its Ministry Emergency Response Plan (MERP) that describes the arrangements and measures that may be taken in any emergency related to the administration of justice including the operation of the courts; and provision of legal services to government in any emergency. The plan sets out the basic mechanisms, organizational structures, responsibilities, and procedures to guide the Attorney General and MAG staff in responding to emergencies in Ontario.
4. Reviews, Training & Exercises
Reviews: The Ministry will conduct an annual review of the Ministry Emergency Management Program.
Training: The Ministry will conduct annual emergency management training for the Ministry Action Group.
Exercises: The Ministry Action Group will conduct an annual practice exercise for a simulated emergency incident in order to evaluate our emergency response plan and procedures.
For More Information
E-mail the Ministry of the Attorney General with any questions or comments about our Emergency Management Program.
If you would like to call or write a letter, see our Contact Us page.