B.4.01 Emergency Plan


General Administration Effective Date: July 1, 2010
Topic: Emergency Plan Replaces:
Subject: Emergency Plan Policy No. B.4.01.


Definition of an emergency:  

"A situation or impending situation caused by forces of nature, accident or an intentional act that constitutes a danger of major proportions to life and property."  

Emergency Management Act 2003  


Emergency management in Ontario is the responsibility of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS). Emergency Management Ontario (EMO), an entity within MCSCS, has the primary responsibility for the promotion, development, implementation and maintenance of emergency management programs. Under the Community Programs component of its province wide activities, it provides advice to municipalities and First Nations related to local Community Emergency Management Plans (CEMP).  EMO has spoken directly to DSBs recognizing they have a role in responding to some aspects of emergencies. 

The enabling legislation for emergency planning and response is the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The Act also has a Standards section. 

Municipal Role 

The Act is clear about the responsibilities of every municipality to designate an employee of the municipality or a member of the council as its Emergency Management Program Coordinator. That Emergency Management Program Coordinator is obliged to complete the training that is required by the Chief, Emergency Management Ontario. The legislation does provide for municipalities to coordinate their local program plans with that of other municipalities but there is no legislated role for upper tier governments or DSBs in this planning process.

Provincial Ministries’ Role

There are very specific requirements for Ministries to designate Emergency Management Program Coordinators who are obliged to take the required training. Both at the municipal and Ministry level, these positions co-ordinate the development and implementation of the emergency management program for their respective municipality or Ministry. Part 1 of the Standards section of that Act sets out the responsibilities of Ministries to participate in emergency planning. The Ministries involved include the same Ministries responsible for DSB programs.   

DSB Role 

Part III of the standards section clearly states:

“Ministry standards apply to designated agencies, boards, commissions, branches

16.(1)  Part I applies with necessary modifications to an agency, board, commission or other branch of government designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. O. Reg. 380/04, s. 16 (1).

(2)  For the purpose of subsection (1), a reference in Part I to a minister or ministry shall be read as a reference to the agency, board, commission or other branch of government and a reference to a deputy minister shall be read as a reference to the chair of the agency, board, commission or the head of the other branch of government. O. Reg. 380/04, s. 16 (2).”

There appears to be no specific requirement of DSBs to name an Emergency Management Program Coordinator or to have an Emergency Response Plan. However there is the need for someone within the DSB to take on the responsibility of ensuring that the programs under the Ministries can continue in the event of an emergency.  The Board does have an obligation to ensure the ongoing delivery of those programs for which it is the mandated delivery agent. The Board has named the CAO to act as the Emergency Management Program Coordinator.

Program Descriptions, Mandates and Mandate Limitations 

Children’s Services 

The Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board (DSB) is designated as a Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM) with respect to management responsibilities for the child care system, as legislated in the Day Nurseries Act. The child care mission of the DSB is to support social and economic development by investing in and supporting an affordable, accessible, and accountable child care system benefiting children, their parents, caregivers and the broader community. The department is primarily responsible for determining the financial eligibility of families who apply for a child care fee subsidy to help defray the cost of licensed child care. The department also allocates funding to Family Resource Program, Special Needs Resource Program and the Early Learning and Childcare initiative. The DSB does not directly deliver any of these services but manages service contracts with non-profit service provider boards.


There is no legislated right to the provision of child care, fee subsidy assistance or other children’s support programs funded by this Board. This Board does not operate child care centres nor does it directly provide the other children’s programs which it funds in conjunction with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. In the event of an emergency, the Board’s single staff person will be limited to working with service providers to resolve issues which prevent their resumption of service provision.  

Emergency Medical Services

The DSB is the designated delivery agent for land ambulance in the Manitoulin and Sudbury Districts. The land ambulance service is directly operated by the DSB with all of the paramedics being DSB employees.

DSB EMS provides pre-hospital care to the sick and injured at a primary care level. The mission is to participate in the full scope of pre-hospital emergency medical/health services by providing direct patient care and transportation to the sick and injured.

EMS has stations at the following locations: Hagar, Noëlville, Killarney, Gogama, Foleyet, Chapleau, Massey, Espanola, Little Current, Wikwemikong, Mindemoya, and Gore Bay. The ambulances are dynamically deployed from these locations so that they may be assigned to “standby” in various locations throughout our area in order to provide emergency coverage to the larger community. In addition, we support volunteer Emergency First Response Teams or Second Tier Agreements in St. Charles, French River Delta, Tehkummah, Cartier, and Cockburn Island. 


Dispatching of ambulances is not the responsibility of the EMS service. All dispatch and control of ambulance movement is the responsibility of the Central Ambulance Communications Centre (CACC). The CACC is directly operated by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). The CACC receives the calls, selects the ambulance(s) or other resources (Emergency First Response Teams or Air Ambulance) to respond and dispatches them.

This Board does directly operate the EMS service which it funds in conjunction with the MOHLTC. In the event of an emergency, the Board’s EMS staff will be limited to taking direction from the CACC to meet the demands of the emergency.  Within limits set by the CACC, resources may be deployed from other areas to assist with demand in the emergency area.  

Ontario Works

The Ontario Works program provides income and employment assistance for people who are in temporary financial need. To be eligible for Ontario Works, an applicant must be a resident of Ontario, be in immediate financial need and willing to participate in employment assistance activities. There are strict asset limits for eligibility for any benefits under Ontario Works. The amount of money that someone receives from Ontario Works varies depending upon housing costs and family size. Clients may also be eligible for drug and dental coverage, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and community and employment start-up benefits. Applications for assistance are through legislatively prescribed forms and full documentation must be in place before assistance is provided.

The Ontario Works program is directly managed by staff of the DSB.  Some employment programming is provided under service contracts with external service providers.


There is a legislated right to the provision of the mandatory Ontario Works benefits. That right however is limited by the Ontario Works Act and includes strict provisions which must be met before assistance is issued. The percentage of the population in receipt of Ontario Works is quite low. Based on 2009 population figures for the DSB catchment area, there are 734 people or 2.7% of the population on Ontario Works. There is no legislated provision for supplying emergency food relief to the general population under the Ontario Works Act.

Board staffs directly deliver this program from four locations within the jurisdiction. In an emergency, their role will be to ensure that all persons who wish to apply for Ontario Works can do so and that those persons presently on Ontario Works continue to receive the mandatory benefits for which they are eligible.  It is important to understand that this Board does not deliver the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).  The ODSP program is the responsibility of the Ministry of Community and Social Services. The percentage of the population in receipt of ODSP is quite low with 999 people, or 3.7% of the population, within the DSB catchment area. 

Social Housing 

The primary purpose of the DSB Social Housing Department is to ensure the effective and efficient management of the assisted rental housing programs within the DSB jurisdiction.

The public housing units are directly owned and directly managed by DSB employees. The public housing portfolio is made up of 15 projects housing 286 households. Within that group, there are 36 family units with the balance being single adults. There are no senior designated buildings in the public housing portfolio.

The non-profit and urban native components of the portfolio are managed by non-profit boards. For these groups, the DSB acts in a service management role. The non-profit providers are the landlord and have the same limited obligations as the DSB. The non-profit portfolio is composed of six providers. Two of these are municipal non-profits and two are under Section 95. The non-profit providers can house 90 households. All of these units are seniors designated. There are two urban native projects which serve 24 families.   


There is no legislated right to social housing or other related housing programs funded by this Board. This Board does directly operate the public housing portfolio but only service manages the non-profit portfolio in conjunction with separate non-profit boards. All programs are managed under the Social Housing Reform Act (SHRA) legislation set by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. There is no provision in that act for this Board to provide temporary shelter in an emergency.

This Board has a landlord tenant relationship with the 286 households who reside in the public housing portfolio. That relationship is spelled out in the Landlord Tenant Act. That act does not oblige the landlord to provide alternate accommodation in the event of an emergency. In the event of an emergency, the Board’s staff will attempt to work with tenants to secure temporary accommodations at the tenants’ expense where this is possible.  

There is no landlord tenant relationship between this Board and those households in the non-profit portfolio.

Relationship to Emergency Response Plans of Member Municipalities

DSB may be requested by its member municipalities to assist during emergency incidents. This plan sets out how the DSB will meet its mandates in the event of an emergency. It also sets out how the DSB can and cannot assist member municipalities in emergency situations.  The DSB has no authority to unilaterally expand its legislated mandate. 

Specific Functions beyond the Mandate of the DSB 

Social Services 
  • Opening, ongoing management or closing of Evacuee Centres
  • Registration of persons in an area impacted by the emergency
  • Evacuation of children, the elderly, the disabled or any other persons from the evacuation zone
  • Provision of emergency shelter, beds or bedding
  • Provision of clothing
  • Provision of mobile canteens or emergency feeding of evacuees or staff involved in the emergency
  • Provision of financial assistance to persons not eligible for Ontario Works
  • Provision of psychological support
  • Provision of front-line support
  • Provision of support to vulnerable persons due to water or electricity emergencies
  • Provision of reintegration of evacuees following an emergency
Emergency Medical Services 
  • Redirection of ambulances or paramedics
  • Triage functions
  • Redirection of ambulances from other jurisdictions
  • Supplying blankets, stretchers, medications other than those provided to occupants of an ambulance
Service Area Covered by this Plan

Area #1

  • Town of Espanola


  • Township of Baldwin
  • Township of Nairn and Hyman
  • Township of Sables-Spanish Rivers

Area #3

  • Municipality of French River
  • Municipality of Killarney
  • Municipality of Markstay-Warren
  • Municipality of St.-Charles    

Area #4

  • Township of Chapleau

Area # 5

  • Township of Barrie Island
  • Township of Billings
  • Township of Burpee and Mills
  • Township of Cockburn Island
  • Township of Gordon
  • Town of Gore Bay

Area #6

  • Township of Assiginack
  • Township of Central Manitoulin
  • Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands
  • Township of Tehkummah 

Unincorporated Townships 

Plan Activation

This Plan will be formally activated by the CAO when circumstances develop which meet the definition of emergency.

Step #1

If any member of the DSB staff believes an emergency situation is occurring they will immediately contact their Director/Manager. The Director/Manager will record the date/time of all such contacts.

Step #2

If the Director/Manager confirms an emergency is occurring which cannot be dealt with through normal operating procedures within their department, then they will immediately advise the CAO. The CAO will record the date/time of all such contacts.

Step #3

The CAO or his designate will review the situation with staff and assess the incident. If the CAO determines the incident can be resolved within the departmental resources or within the total DSB resources then appropriate instructions and directions will be provided to the Director/Managers. These types of occurrences will be dealt with under the DSB Business Continuity Plans (BCP)

Step #4

If the incident requires a response beyond the DSB’s own resources or if there is the need to coordinate a response related to a municipal emergency, then the CAO will call a meeting of the Emergency Management Program Committee (EMPC). The EMPC is composed of the Board Chair, CAO and the Director/Managers. The Executive Assistant will record the date/time of the calling together of the EMPC.


Other agencies and organizations that have programming linked to the DSB mandate may be contacted for assistance


Media contact with members of the EMPC will be through the CAO. 

Responsibilities of the Emergency Management Program Committee (EMPC)

The EMPC is composed of:

  • Board Chair
  • CAO
  • Executive Assistant
  • Chief of EMS
  • Director of Finance & Administration
  • Manager of Information Systems
  • Director of Integrated Social Services

Responsibilities of EMPC Members

Board Chair

Chair the EMPC.

Responsible for the declaration and termination of the emergency related to DSB operations based on the advice given by the EMPC members.


Acts as the DSB Coordinator with member municipalities and unincorporated townships for the four programs under this Board’s mandate.

Activates the DSB Emergency Response Plan.

Coordinates the DSB response to the emergency.

Schedules regular meetings of the DSB-EMPC.

Approves media releases, in consultation with the Board Chair, EMPC members and the impacted municipality.

Ensures effective communication between the DSB-EMPC and the municipalities who have declared an emergency.

Executive Assistant

Provides clerical services to the EMPC as required.

Chief of Emergency Medical Services 

Approves any up staffing or changes to staffing patterns in consultation with the Central Ambulance Communication Centre (CACC).

Provides ongoing situation updates to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and the CACC.

Communicates with neighbouring EMS services concerning any possible regional impacts or the potential need for resource supplementation.

Communicates with hospitals which may be impacted by the emergency from the perspective of impact on emergency department turnaround times.

Communicates with all staff on current situation.

Director of Finance & Administration  

Ensures continuity of DSB financial operations.

Prepares a financial report in regards to expenditures.

Communicates with all staff and service providers on current situation. 

Manager of Information Systems 

Ensures continuity of DSB information systems by working with IT and communications service providers.

Provides support to all departments to maintain communications infrastructure.

Works with CAO to ensure communication options for continuous contact with municipal emergency management staff. 

Director of Integrated Social Services 

Children’s Programs

Notifies the Ministry of Children & Youth Services – Program Supervisors and Program Advisors.

Notifies all child care operators who may be impacted by the emergency.

Works with any operator in the impacted area on options for service continuity including temporary shifting of services to adjacent providers.

Notifies Family Resource, Ontario Early Years or other potentially impacted service providers.

In coordination with the service providers, notifies all fee subsidized families (existing caseload) concerning options for their ongoing child care needs and child care fee subsidy eligibility.

Ontario Works 

Notifies the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS).

Approves any up staffing or change to staffing patterns to ensure adequate capacity to take Ontario Works applications in the impacted area.

Communicates if possible with all active recipients of Ontario Works in the impacted area to provide relocation or other related emergency assistance funding if required.

Works with MCSS to meet the needs of active recipients of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) in the impacted area.

Communicates with all staff and service providers on current situation.

Social Housing Program Supervisor 

Notifies the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Assesses if incident impacts existing public housing tenants in the impacted area. 

Works with existing tenants in the public housing buildings in the impacted area if relocation is required.

Contacts non-profit housing providers to determine how tenant housing needs are being met in their buildings.

Conducts, when feasible, a brief assessment of damages to all DSB buildings in the impacted area.

Communicates with all staff and service providers on current situation.

Coordination with Municipal Authorities

The following actions may be taken by the EMPC in an emergency in full consultation with Municipal Authorities:

  1. Selection of a DSB – Emergency Site Coordinator (ESC). This would be the CAO or his designate.

  2. Assists with the evacuation of those DSB-owned buildings within the emergency area which are considered dangerous or in which the occupants are considered to be in danger.

  3. Selection of an assembly area at which additional DSB manpower and equipment of DSB services will gather.

  4. Calling out and deployment of any DSB personnel.

  5. Requesting the assistance of personnel and equipment of voluntary and other related agencies not under DSB Board control as may be required for emergency operations.

  6. Issuance of accurate releases to the media, and for the distribution of authoritative instructions to the general public as it pertains to DSB responsibilities.

  7. Assisting in the provision of emergency medical and health services subject to instructions from the provincial Central Ambulance Communications Centre (CACC).

  8. Inspection for the safe and orderly re-occupation of all DSB-owned premises within the designated Emergency Area.

  9. Maintaining a written record of the EMPC actions taken during the incident.

Incident Debriefing

The CAO will conduct an Incident Debriefing with the EMPC and any involved municipality within two months after a recorded emergency incident occurs.

Plan Creation and Periodic Updates 

This Plan has been created with input from a DSB Emergency Planning Committee which met in the spring of 2010. The DSB CAO will review this document on a semi-annual basis. If there is the need for significant changes, the Emergency Planning Committee will be consulted and any changes distributed to the appropriate agencies and personnel.