Newly released documents outline what Canada’s Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney is supposed to say when a disaster strikes. Talking points cover terrorist attacks and natural disasters in Canada and in the United States, and an assault on electronic networks, according to a Canadian press article by journalist Jim Bronskill.
For instance, in the event of a terrorist incident in Canada, the Minister was given the following talking points:
- Canada has suffered a national tragedy.
- My heartfelt sympathies go out to the victims of today’s attack and their families.
- The government of Canada remains unwavering in its commitment to protect the safety and security of Canadians and to advance the global fight against terrorism.
- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) are working closely with local law enforcement officials to investigate.
- The government of Canada is assisting the local authorities to save lives and help victims.
In the event of a major natural or man-made disaster in Canada:
- Our heartfelt sympathies are with the families and friends of those affected by this terrible (type of incident) in (city or town).
- The government of Canada is in contact with its (provincial/territorial) counterparts and will continue to share information as it becomes available.
- First responders and (provincial/territorial) officials are responsible for addressing the immediate needs of citizens in the affected area.
- Public Safety will work with the (provincial/territorial government) to ensure that requests for federal assistance are handled without delay.
- In order to allow for an effective recovery to take place, it is important that people in the affected area(s) co-operate with their local authorities.
The briefing notes were obtained by The Canadian Press under Canada’s Access to Information Act.
In the case of an assault on vital electronic networks the notes suggest Blaney be circumspect: “While I won’t provide specific details about the nature of this incident, I can assure you the government of Canada has plans in place to prevent, minimize and address the impacts of cyberthreats. Government agencies are working closely together to take appropriate action and implement mitigating measures.”
Canadian Press – What you might hear from (minister’s name) the next time disaster strikes – here
Canadian Press/Jim Bronskill – Minister ready with (type of incident) sympathies to (city or town) – here