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Strengthening 911

Emergency 911 Act

The Emergency 911 Act came in effect April 1, 2014.  The purpose of the Act is to promote and enhance public safety by supporting the funding of Alberta’s 911 call centres. This funding comes from a monthly $0.44 cent 911 levy that cellphone customers have on their cellphone bills since April 2014. The money from the cellphone levy is helping fund 911 call centres across the province and it supports integration of new technology to enhance existing capacity of 911 centres.

The Act will also bring in fines for frivolous 911 calls that abuse the system and it will allow for the creation of province-wide standards for 911 call taking.

None of us can predict when an emergency is going to happen. But when it does, we all depend on 911 operators to pick up the line when we dial those three all important numbers. Today, 911 call centres in Alberta are facing serious challenges ranging from declining funding, spiking call volumes and the affordability of new technology. The new Emergency 911 Act helps address these challenges.  

911 Levy

  • The 911 levy is $0.44 cents, the same as the landline fee, which has been in place for over 12 years.
  • It is charged on any wireless subscription for a device with an Alberta area code that can contact 911 such as an active cell phone.
  • The levy took effect on April 1, 2014, when the legislation came into force.

Frivolous Calls

  • A frivolous 911 call is any 911 call deliberately made to waste time or abuse the service.
  • $5,000 fine for first time offenders.
  • $10,000 fine for repeat offenders.

Standards and Legal Protection

  • The government will work with stakeholders to create province-wide standards, processes and procedures for 911 call taking. This will ensure consistent service delivery across the province.
  • Better legal protection for 911 operators will help them maintain their focus on serving Albertans.

New Technology

  • 911 call centres need support as they look for ways to introduce new technology.
    • In the future someone who is speech or hearing impaired will be able to text with 911.
    • A 911 operator could use GPS to pinpoint the location of someone who fainted during a 911 call.