Emergency alert sent by mistake

Emergency Alert sent on January 12

The emergency message that woke people up across the province on Sunday morning was reportedly sent out by mistake.

Around 7:20 a.m., a Province of Ontario emergency bulletin went out stating that there was an incident reported at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.

“There has been NO abnormal release of radioactivity from the station and emergency staff are responding to the situation,” the alert read. “People near the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station DO NOT need to take any protective actions at this time.”

However, Ontario Power Generation tweeted nearly 45 minutes later that the alert was sent in “error” and there was no danger to the public or environment. The City of Pickering also confirmed the mistake, tweeting that the emergency alert issued by the Province was in fact an error.

Around 9:15 a.m., a retraction alert was sent out province-wide, stating that there was no active nuclear situation.

alert January 12

Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan said he was upset over what happened and will be demanding an investigation.

“Like many of you, I was very troubled to have received that emergency alert this morning,” Ryan said on Twitter. “While I am relieved that there was no actual emergency, I am upset that an error such as this occurred. I have spoken to the Province, and am demanding that a full investigation take place.”

According to Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones, the alert was sent out during a routine training exercise being conducted by the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) and there was never any danger to the public. In a statement on her Twitter, Jones said a full investigation will be conducted.

“Emergency exercises are a critical component of ensuring preparedness for emergency management and response agencies,” read the statement. “The PEOC conducts training exercises regularly and there was no intention to notify the public in this instance.”