Alberta Skips National Public Alerting System Test, Favours Own Alert App

Alberta emergency alert

Canada’s Alert Ready system sent off test alerts yesterday across mobile devices, TV and radio, exposing everyone to the scariest alert tone known to peoplekind.

But nothing went off in Alberta, as the province opted out of the test, alongside Nunavut.

Alberta says it skipped the test to prevent confusion about its own upcoming alert, using the province’s Emergency Alert app for iOS and Android.

“As Premier Kenney stated yesterday the province will use the Alberta Emergency Alert system to inform people of the new COVID-19 restrictions,” said Justin Marshall, Alberta’s minister of municipal affairs, in a statement to CTV News.

Marshall further explained, “We opted out of the national alert test to avoid confusion with Alberta’s coming alert. As I’m sure you can understand, too frequent alerts can have the tendency of diminishing the importance.”

In other words, if you want to get alerts from the Alberta government, one must install the Alberta Emergency Alert on your iPhone or Android smartphone. Canada’s Alert Ready system does not require any app to be installed to get emergency alerts. You just need a compatible device connected to an LTE or 5G network.

“Alberta’s focus during this time is on keeping Albertans safe and informed of the measures in place. Nunavut also opted out of the national test today. We are confident that the alert system works for Alberta,” added Marshall.

Alberta also has rejected Canada’s COVID Alert app for COVID-19 exposure notifications, like British Columbia. Instead, Alberta is foregoing the national app to use its own ABTraceTogether contact tracing app, which has so far has only tracked 19 cases, as of November 17.

Earlier today, the Northwest Territories announced support for COVID Alert.