FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government will launch a roundtable on emergency management next month to better prepare New Brunswickers for extreme weather events and other emergencies.

“Numerous events in the last decade have illustrated risks, exposed vulnerabilities and highlighted areas for improvement in our current approach to emergency management,” said Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Stephen Horsman. “In order to address these risks and vulnerabilities, and those associated with the increased frequency and severity of weather events, we must develop strategies that enable individuals, businesses and communities to reduce vulnerabilities, increase resiliency and build capacity.”

Horsman said no single organization has the mandate, ability or resources to effectively take on the complex task of mitigating, preparing for, managing and recovering from, emergencies. Successful emergency management continues to be collaboration between many stakeholders.

“In keeping with our commitment to ensure the province is better prepared for extreme weather events, I am pleased to announce our government is creating a Provincial Roundtable on Emergency Management and Resiliency,” he said. “This is a new approach to new challenges and it is designed to be more collaborative and more inclusive in nature.”

The creation of a roundtable was also a key recommendation of the After Action Review of Post Tropical Storm Arthur. The roundtable is intended to allow various stakeholders to share expertise, learn best practices and identify issues to be addressed in provincial risk reduction and resiliency strategies.

Horsman said Public Safety deputy minister Craig Dalton will chair the roundtable, which will bring together representatives from the three levels of government, as well as operators of utilities, critical infrastructure, industry, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders.

“The roundtable will allow us to broaden our consultation and co-operation with all major stakeholders and partners,” said Horsman. “The main goal is to improve communications and emergency preparedness and to help build resiliency. We all need to take an active role in emergency preparedness.”

The roundtable is scheduled to hold its first meeting next month.