What powers does the declaration of a state of local emergency provide?

Broad powers and responsibilities.

The City of Edmonton declared a state of local emergency on Friday, March 20, 2020.

Under the Emergency Management Act, a local authority in Alberta can declare a state of emergency to gain additional powers and responsibilities to help it prevent, combat, or alleviate the effects of an emergency or disaster. One key power the local authority gains is the ability to "borrow any money necessary to pay expenses caused by the emergency" during or within 60 days after the state of local emergency, by bylaw that is not advertised but is approved by the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

Additionally, the City of Edmonton can now:

  • Put the emergency plan into operation
  • Acquire and use necessary property
  • Authorize qualified people to render aid
  • Control travel to, from and within Edmonton
  • Restore essential facilities, distribute essential supplies, and coordinate essential services
  • Evacuate people and animals
  • Enter buildings without warrant for emergency purposes
  • Demolish plants, trees or structures to prevent or deal with a disaster
  • Procure or fix prices for essential supplies

A state of local emergency lasts for seven days after which it can be renewed. It can be terminated at any time. As of May 7, 2020, Edmonton's state of local emergency was still in place for at least another week. 

Published By:
Mack Male

Mack Male

Friday, March 20, 2020

by Emily Rendell-Watson




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For the latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, see edmonton.ca/covid19, alberta.ca/covid19, canada.ca/covid19, and the World Health Organization.