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Maritime-wide mobile radio communications system


September 15, 2008
By Alyssa Dalton

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between the provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia authorizing all three jurisdictions to explore the development of a Maritime-wide mobile radio communications system.

“A
Maritime-wide Public Safety Radio System would not only benefit our
province as we explore options to replace the mobile radio and pager
system currently in use, it will increase efficiency and enable us to
provide seamless emergency communications among our three neighbouring
provinces,” said The Island’s Carolyn Bertram, minister of communities,
cultural affairs and labour.




“By
forming this partnership, we are taking a team approach toward
exploring a new and modern mobile radio communications system for the
Maritimes,” said New Brunswick’s Jack Keir, supply and services
minister. “There is great potential in this agreement to share
specialized infrastructure, to reduce our costs and to create a
seamless, integrated system that strengthens and improves our ability
to respond to emergency situations in each province and across the
region. Our collaborative approach also demonstrates to the federal
government that this is a significant initiative worthy of funding
support from Ottawa.”




Currently,
each of the provinces operates an independent mobile radio
communications system and all are actively involved in renewing those
systems for their respective emergency response organizations.




The MOU
signifies a tri-province partnership has been formed to explore a
common solution for mobile radio communications for the Maritimes. This
partnership may include collaborating on its procurement, and sharing
the cost and operation of a next generation, inter-provincial system
that will lead to greater efficiencies and better safety. The provinces
will also work together in exploring federal funding to support the
initiative.




The MOU became effective August, and will remain in place for a four-year term.



Under
the joint agreement, a working group comprising one representative from
each province will consult with stakeholders and develop a plan to
bring the project forward to government. The goal is to have a
Maritime-wide mobile communication system in place in 2011. The
multi-million dollar project is expected to help thousands of public
safety and public works staff and personnel in delivering emergency
services in the field.