UN names Oak Bay role model for emergency planning

Former mayor Causton avoids visiting country in crisis to accept award

Oak Bay has received an international honour for its emergency preparedness program. However, the personal accolades will have to wait.

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction named the municipality a global leader in emergency planning. Oak Bay has also been certified as a role model city for its emergency program.

“We’re in a global community now,” said Dave Cockle, Oak Bay’s deputy emergency co-ordinator. “We share disaster risk information with other communities and share experiences with each other, and from that we can learn and develop our communities to be much more resilient, which is the ultimate goal.”

Former mayor Christopher Causton was invited to accept the honour and give a presentation on Oak Bay’s program at the Caribbean conference on comprehensive disaster management in Trinidad & Tobago this week. He decided not to make the trip after being warned by a friend that travel to the island nation was a risky proposition.

“Especially when you land at the airport, the flight from Toronto lands almost at midnight,” Causton explained. “And (the friend) says it’s now under curfew, so you can’t actually get from the airport (to) downtown.”

As it turned out, it was the right decision. The day after his conversation, Causton discovered that local authorities had uncovered a plot to assassinate that country’s prime minister.

“I’m really glad I didn’t go.”

But the recognition of Oak Bay’s leadership in emergency planning remains, and the municipality is now one of just two “role model” cities in Canada, along with North Vancouver. Saanich is in the process of obtaining similar status.

Cockle said it emphasizes the progress Oak Bay has made. “We’ve now identified that there are some risks that we need to manage and that have been identified here locally, and we’ve grown to accept that we need to plan for these.”

Assassination plots aside, Oak Bay emergency planning officials hope to take part in future UN conferences on the subject. The municipality will also have the opportunity next spring to pair up with a twin city, allowing the two communities to share emergency plans and documents.

“We’re very lucky to have some very professional emergency planning people in Oak Bay who have contributed to this plan,” said Causton. “That’s one of the reasons we’re able to do it – we’ve got volunteers who are highly qualified and are willing to give their time.”

editor@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Thousands show for 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria

New records, first-time runners, and stories of resilience

Mother of alleged hit-and-run victim hopes municipalities will work together to improve crosswalk

Young woman injured, dog killed when struck by driver on marked crosswalk at Foul Bay Road

Here comes the rain: Victoria can expect post Thanksgiving showers all week

Mild, rainy weather expected from Tuesday to Saturday

Opponents of Elizabeth May criticize her push to scrap temporary foreign worker program

May has proposed to scrap the federal program which supplies local business with temporary workers

Victoria woman uses loss to raise awareness of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

City of Victoria to recognize Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day Oct. 15

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Dog killed in alleged hit and run, Goodlife Marathon takes over city and more

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Most Read