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Town of Drumheller Declares a Local State of Emergency Due to Rising COVID-19 Cases

Posted on Nov. 23 2020

The Town of Drumheller has declared a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) as of Monday, November 23, 2020 with aims to help control the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

"The safety and wellbeing of our community continues to be our top priority," explains Jay Garbutt, Deputy Mayor of the Town of Drumheller. "This is tough, but we believe as a community we can work together to slow the spread."

The State of Local Emergency gives the Town access to additional resources, and special powers under the Emergency Management Act not available under the Municipal Government Act. A description the powers a SOLE can be described in Section 24(1)(b) of the Emergency Management Act:

Section 24(1)(b) of the Emergency Management Act allows municipalities to exercise the same powers in a state of local emergency as the Minister may exercise in a provincial state of emergency (note that the current provincial state of public health emergency differs from a provincial state of emergency, and includes slightly different provincial powers). These powers are found in s. 19(1) and are as follows:

a. put into operation an emergency plan or program;

b. authorize or require a local authority to put into effect an emergency plan or program for the municipality;

c. acquire or utilize any real or personal property considered necessary to prevent, combat, or alleviate the effects of an emergency or disaster;

d. authorize or require any qualified person to render aid of a type the person is qualified to provide;

e. control or prohibit travel to or from any area of Alberta;

f. provide for the restoration of essential facilities and the distribution of essential supplies and provide, maintain, and coordinate emergency medical, welfare, and other essential services in any part of Alberta;

g. order the evacuation of persons and the removal of livestock and personal property from any area of Alberta that is or may be affected by a disaster and make arrangements for the adequate care and protection of those persons or livestock and of the personal property;

h. authorize the entry into any building or on any land, without warrant, by any person in the course of implementing an emergency plan or program;

i. cause the demolition or removal of any trees, structures, or crops if the demolition or removal is necessary or appropriate in order to reach the scene of a disaster, or to attempt to forestall its occurrence or to combat its progress;

j. procure or fix prices for food, clothing, fuel, equipment, medical supplies, or other essential supplies and the use of any property, services, resources, or equipment within any part of Alberta for the duration of the state of emergency;

k. authorize the conscription of persons needed to meet an emergency.[1]

"We are not currently, nor do we anticipate, enacting an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) or Incident Command Post (ICP)," states Darryl Drohomerski, Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Emergency Management for the Town of Drumheller. We want to be prepared in the event cases continue to escalate. A SOLE will help us do this."

All Town services are still operating at this time, including limited recreation services. Water, sewer, waste services and power are still operating and serving our community.

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