Canada to update catastrophe plans for fear of nuclear threat from Ukraine war

Nuclear plant in Ukraine. Representational image by Nicolas Hippert on unsplash

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Ottawa/CMEDIA: Canada is reportedly updating emergency protocols to deal with possible spread of radiation across the ocean from a Ukrainian power plant explosion.

Measures taken by the Internal Public Safety Canada include updating a highly secret plan to ensure the federal government can continue to function in a severe crisis.

Steps were also being taken by Canada to finalize a protocol for advising the Canadian public of an incoming ballistic missile, according to the notes obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

Potassium iodide pills as a precaution were procured by Global Affairs Canada with stocks distributed to Kyiv and neighbouring diplomatic missions in August 2022.

Public Safety would co-ordinate communication to the public, under the Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan, about an international nuclear event.

Public Safety and the Privy Council Office were doing a “rapid refresh” of the Continuity of Constitutional Government plan, the notes also said, intended to ensure essential executive, legislative and judicial processes can take place during a major calamity.

Process for relocating key institutions were set out in the plan, including the Prime Minister’s Office, the federal cabinet, Parliament and the Supreme Court to an alternate site outside the National Capital Region.

A national Missile Warning Protocol had been ratified and “initial engagement” with the provinces and territories had taken place, the internal notes also said.

The protocol was developed by the federal government and Canadian Armed Forces in 2018 to set out how the public and key federal partners would be informed of an inbound intercontinental missile.