News Release - City of Edmonton declares State of Local Emergency
March 20, 2020

The City of Edmonton has declared a State of Local Emergency as the COVID-19 pandemic becomes more urgent and the need to protect the public increases. The measure helps to expedite decision making and ensure City operational decisions are centralized, prioritized and coordinated.

The State of Local Emergency will further support the Province of Alberta’s Public Health Emergency which was declared on March 17. 

The City’s response will allow the reallocation of resources and adjustment of services to properly respond to the pandemic. This means the City has the tools and decision-making power necessary to protect its most vulnerable populations. 

"This is an unprecedented situation for our City, and declaring a state of local emergency allows us to manage this situation in the most effective way possible," said Mayor Don Iveson. “It also allows us to put additional measures and resources in place to ensure that our city’s most vulnerable people are not left behind during this crisis.”

With a State of Local Emergency declared, the Emergency Advisory Committee functions primarily in an advisory role. The Director of the Emergency Management Agency, in this case the Interim City Manager, leads the Emergency Management Agency in enacting these powers and responsibilities:

  • Putting the emergency plan into operation
  • Acquiring and using necessary property
  • Authorizing qualified people to render aid
  • Controlling travel to, from and within Edmonton
  • Restoring essential facilities, distributing essential supplies, coordinating essential services
  • Evacuating people and animals
  • Entering buildings without warrant for emergency purposes
  • Demolishing plants, trees or structures to prevent or deal with a disaster
  • Procuring or fixing prices for essential supplies

The Emergency Advisory Committee -- consisting of City Council and the Mayor -- met this afternoon, and accepted the advice of the Emergency Management Agency -- whose members include the Interim City Manager, Deputy City Managers, the City Solicitor, the Edmonton Police Chief, the Chief of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services, and the Director of the Office of Emergency Management -- to call a state of local emergency. 

”Our priority is to maintain essential services for the health and wellbeing of Edmontonians,” said Interim City Manager Adam Laughlin. “The actions taken by the City of Edmonton in responding to the pandemic will equip us to do that.”
The State of Local Emergency will be in effect for seven days, unless renewed beyond seven days or terminated earlier. This is the first time a State of Local Emergency has been declared in Edmonton.
For more information:
Media contact:
Communications Advisor
Communications and Engagement