Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Kent has unveiled new details of the government’s plan to provide provincewide 911 services by the end of the year.
Sherry Colford, 911 project lead, Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Kent and Sean Dutton, CEO Fire and Emergency Sevices NL at a news conference in St. John's today. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram
The government is starting debate today on a piece of legislation which will create an arm’s-length, not-for-profit agency which will be responsible for running the system.
The government will also establish some sort of levy for each wireless and landline phone customer in the province. There’s no firm announcement yet on how much it’ll cost.
“We anticipate that it will be under a dollar,” Kent said.
The finances of the NL 911 Bureau will be separate from general government revenue, and the idea is that the phone bill levy will create enough money to fund operations on a cost-neutral basis.
The new law will require every municipality and local service district to participate in the system.
Currently, St. John’s, Corner Brook and Labrador West have landline 911 service, and the whole province has cellphone 911 service. After the new system comes into force, it’ll be available for everyone.
The government’s plan also lays the groundwork for “next generation” 911 service, which would involve location data, text messaging and other information.
Kent said that the new legislation will improve safety for all residents.