THUNDER BAY – An Ontario Emergency Alert was issued this morning which went out across the province at 07:30 am. Shortly after, there was another alert sent out to inform people the first alert was “Sent in Error”.
Important update: the alert regarding #Pickering Nuclear was sent in error. There is no danger to the public or environment.
— Ontario Power Gen (@opg) January 12, 2020
This startled many people. Especially people living near Pickering. It has some in Northwestern Ontario questioning the issue of how to safely transport and store nuclear waste as it is proposed in our region.
The Premier’s Office says it wants to find out what happened. As does the Mayor of Pickering and many others.
Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General has issued a statement that reads: “Earlier today, an emergency alert was issued by the Province of Ontario stating there was a situation at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. The alert was issued in error to the public during a routine training exercise being conducted by the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC).
There was no incident at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station that should have triggered public notification. Nor was there ever any danger to the public or environment.
Emergency exercises are a critical component of ensuring preparedness for emergency management and response agencies. The PEOC conducts training exercises regularly and there was no intention to notify the public in this instance.
The Government of Ontario sincerely apologizes for raising public concern and has begun a full investigation to determine how this error happened and will take the appropriate steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Ontario NDP Energy critic Peter Tabuns states, “We are deeply troubled that families were unnecessarily given reason to worry about their safety this morning. We need a full and transparent investigation into how a false alarm was triggered, and how all breakdowns in communication occurred. Confidence in the accuracy of the system is essential for public safety.”