Day One: Tuesday, January 26, 2021

11:00 EST

45 min
Mike Flannigan

Making Canada More Resilient to Wildfires

Mike Flannigan, Principal Investigator, NSERC Canada Wildfire Strategic Network, Professor of Wildland Fire, University of Alberta

  • Priority themes the Network will work on
  • Understanding fire in a changing world
  • Managing ecosystems
  • Delivering innovative fire management solutions
  • The wildland urban interface
  • Using machine learning in fire management solutions
  • Interaction between fire and insects
  • Preparing for severe weather
  • Defining wildfire risk in Canada
  • Managing ecosystems around communities to increase resilience

11:45 EST

30 min
Michael (Mike) Akpata

The Role of Critical Communication During Critical Events

Michael (Mike) Akpata, Senior Enterprise Account Manager, AtHoc Product Suite, BlackBerry

Communication has a major impact on emergency response. Events can escalate quickly without an effective emergency preparedness and response strategy, and even a minor incident can cause major problems if an organization cannot communicate with its intended audience.

This session will examine the importance of critical communication on business disruptions and emergency response, and outline best practices and lessons learned from recent events into this strategy to minimize risk, protect people, and effectively manage resources.

12:15 EST

45 min


13:00 EST

45 min
Stanley Kephart

Crowd Management and Control in an Age of Disruption

Stanley Kephart, Kephart Consulting LLC, Phoenix, AZ

In addition to the challenge of Covid many organizations have faced protesters and the potential for violence. Hear from an expert who can provide an analysis of what has transpired in the past few months including the good, the bad and the ugly.

  • Crowd management vs. crowd control – What is the difference?
  • Crowd control tactics – kettling, wedge formation, diamond formation
  • Logistics command control
  • What strategies have been effective?
  • What are the common errors?
  • Lessons learned

13:45 EST

45 min

Data-Informed Emergency & Continuity Program Management

Magda Sulzycki, Supervisor, Grid Emergency Management, Toronto Hydro

Selecting data to answer emergency and continuity program management-related questions requires careful consideration. In a field as broad as ours, it will be tempting to collect large swaths of data, but not everything will be useful and relevant to us as we strive to build robust emergency and continuity programs. Establishing a solid framework for data collection can be even more important than the data collection itself.

In this session and through the lens of Toronto Hydro’s Disaster Preparedness Management Program, we will explore the process by which we can establish a data management framework that will empower leaders to make more effective decisions regarding the programs they administer.

14:30 EST

15 min


14:45 EST

45 min
Jack Rozdilsky

The Alert Ready System in Canada - Is It As Useful As It Should Be?

Jack Rozdilsky, Associate Professor, Disaster and Emergency Management, York University

Canada’s Alert Ready System has been operating successfully with respect to natural hazard warnings and amber alerts, but in 2020 it has also faced challenges related to alerts concerning hazards with technological and social origins.  This presentation will consider both the opportunities and challenges faced by Canada’s Alert Ready System in our contemporary hazard environment.

  • Challenges – What happened with the false nuclear alert?
  • Challenges – What happened in Portapique, Nova Scotia?
  • What the public expects from an alert system
  • Policy challenges for alert system operation
  • Implementation challenges for alert system operation

16:15 EST

End of Day One

Day Two: Wednesday, January 27, 2021

10:10 EST

50 min
Paul Kovacs

Climate Change – Risks and Opportunities: The Importance of Public / Private Collaboration to Build Climate Resilience

Paul Kovacs, President and Founder, Institute for Catastrophic Loss

Canadians experienced $4 to 5 billion a year in losses from extreme weather. Losses have been doubling every 5 to 10 years, due in part to climate change. It is important to break this alarming trend.

  • What is happening in the private sector?
  • How insurance companies, homeowners, building owners, builders are dealing with climate change?
  • Is there scope for the private and public sector to work together?
  • What can be done to improve resilience to severe weather events?

11:00 EST

45 min
LCol Barry Pitcher

Reservist Leadership During the Covid Crisis: CAF Response to Covid-19 in Atlantic Canada

LCol Barry Pitcher, Commanding Officer, Canadian Forces Reserve Unit, Princess Louise Fusiliers

  • How CAF mobilized the largest contingent of reservists since  World War 2
  • Uniqueness of Land Component Control (LCC) of Operation Laser, staffed entirely by reservist officers from within the Atlantic Region.
  • How these reservist officers were suddenly called upon to assume senior military positions
  • Key lessons learned

11:45 EST

45 min


12:30 EST

45 min
Robert Pitcher

The Threat From Within: Recognizing the Risk of an “Insider”…

Robert Pitcher, Manager, Cyber Partnerships, CI Cyber Partnerships

Insider risk relates to people working within an organization to subvert the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information contained within the walls of that entity. Public Safety Canada is pleased to provide an informative and insightful talk where participants will hear case studies of related events and learn what organizations can do today to protect their systems from the “threat from within”.

  • What if the keys to the castle were in the hands of those that you were trying to defend against?
  • What if the contractor building your IT infrastructure was working for your competitor?
  • What if your most important asset was also your biggest vulnerability?

13:45 EST

45 min
Des O’Callaghan

The New Meaning of Resilience in the Wake of Covid-19

Des O’Callaghan, Fellow, Business Continuity Institute

Your company’s resilience has been tested.

  • How did your approach to crisis management stand up?
  • How did the team coordinating everything from internal and external communication to risk assessment, management and mitigation do?
  • What do you need to consider in addressing business continuity and resilience for what lies ahead?

14:30 EST

15 min


14:45 EST

60 min
Dr. Peter Berry Fiona Warren

The National Climate Change Assessment Process, 2021

Dr. Peter Berry, Senior Policy Analyst and Science Advisor to the Director, Climate Change and Innovation Bureau, Health Canada

Fiona Warren, Knowledge Assessment Manager, Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations Division, Natural Resources Canada

  • Overview of climate change: Key Issues in impact and Adaptation in Canada
  • The National Assessment Process
  • Reports being produced
  • Key climate change risks and vulnerabilities
  • Climate change and health assessment

15:45 EST

45 min

Ensuring Supply Chain Security and Avoiding Shortages of Critical Supplies during an Emergency

Roderick J. MacRae, Associate Professor, York University

Factors that may impact food security include border closures, restrictions on foreign farm workers, transportation and import bottlenecks, covid outbreaks in meat plants, panic hoarding and delayed harvesting.

  • What is the potential for scarcity?
  • Critical weaknesses in vital networks including health care and food supply chain
  • Engaging community action on food resiliency

16:30 EST

End of Day Two