State of Local Emergency (SoLE) Frequently Asked Questions

A SoLE can be declared in the event of a major emergency or disaster in a municipality or other area within the jurisdiction of a local authority for the purpose of acquiring one or more of the powers under subsection 12(1) of The Emergency Measures Act. The purpose of declaring a state of emergency is to be able to issue orders to any party to do everything necessary to prevent or limit loss of life and damage to property or the environment.

A SoLE is in the form of a carried council resolution as proof of endorsement by the local government.

Under section 11(1) and 11(2) of The Emergency Measures Act  local authorities can declare a SoLE. Such declarations are essential in enabling local authorities to take actions necessary to provide protection to people, property and the environment.

Use of powers to protect people, property and the environment is through the local authority issuing orders. Elected officials or council must not delegate the issuing of orders to others such as the CAO, Municipal Emergency Coordinator or responders.

Where the major emergency or disaster is within an incorporated city, town, village or a municipality and the local authority is unable to act quickly, the appropriate mayor or reeve may declare a SoLE.

The Emergency Measures Act provides a definition of local authority in the Definitions section of the act.

Emergencies such as floods, storms, and pandemics can require a SoLE be declared to access necessary resources to conduct an appropriate response and to mitigate any damage or loss of life threatened by the emergency.

Powers obtained through the declaration of a SoLE are listed on the Local Authority Response Support webpage. These powers are viewed as extraordinary powers:

  • Some powers suspend the normal rights of individuals or entities, and
  • some powers allow local authorities to quickly take certain actions rather than going through the standard procedures to accomplish these actions.

A local authority should approve and record the actions that will be taken as part of the SoLE.

Commonly used powers include:

  • cause the evacuation of persons, this is communicated through a mandatory evacuation order
  • control, permit or prohibit travel to or from any area or on any road, street or highway
  • authorize the entry into any building, or upon any land without warrant, this is often used to gain access to certain areas to carry out emergency operations
  • expend such sums as are necessary to pay expenses cause by the
    emergency or disaster, this allows a government to spend funds beyond its budget

A SoLE is a carried council resolution containing the following information:

  • Who is making the declaration
  • When does the declaration begin
  • What is the nature of the emergency
  • What area is affected
  • Which powers will be used

Review a sample declaration.

Council resolution declaring a SoLE are submitted to

EMO will review the submitted resolution and may contact the local authority for clarification if required. The SoLE is then processed for tracking and provided to the Minister responsible for emergency measures.

The local authority, mayor or reeve will communicate the details of the declaration by the most appropriate means to the residents of the affected area.

A declaration of a SoLE isn't require to request or receive Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA). See the Disaster Financial Assistance webpage for more information about DFA.

A SoLE is declared by the local authority in regards to their respective jurisdiction. Whereas, a State of Emergency is declared by a Minister in the event of a major emergency or disaster and in respect to all or any part of the province.

Typically the SoLE begins on the day the declaration is made, however a different start date may be specified in the declaration text. This is the first day (day one) the SoLE is in effect.

A SoLE is in effect for a period of 30 days, unless a shorter period is specified in the declaration. If the resolution specifies a date span of more than 30 days or no end date is specified, the in-effect dates would be for 30 days.

For example, if the SoLE begins on April 4th, April 4 would be the first day of the SoLE. If no end date is specified in the resolution, the SoLE could be in effect for 30 days and would expire at the end of day on May 3rd. If the SoLE specifies a specific date to expire (e.g.: April 18) the SoLE would expire end of that day (e.g. April 18).

A local authority can request an extension of the SoLE if the emergency powers continue to be required.

When the emergency or disaster no longer exists in any area of the local authority's jurisdiction, the local authority may terminate the declared SoLE. This can be done at any point during the duration of the SoLE but does not need to be done if the SoLE has lapsed and its 30 days have passed.

Terminations are in the form of a carried council resolution as proof of endorsement by the local government. The termination is sent to

Yes, the minister responsible for emergency management may approve extensions of a SoLE for periods of up to 30 days each. Requests for extension must be submitted at least five business days prior to the expiry of the current declaration in order to have adaquate time for minister to process the request. The extension request must contain an explanation of why the extension is required.

Requests to extend a SoLE are in the form of a carried council resolution as proof of endorsement by the local government. The extension request is submitted to

In the event that a SoLE lapses, the local authority cannot declare another SoLE for the same emergency. For this reason, local authorities are encouraged to review their SoLE and determine if there is a need for an extension. Requests for extension must be submitted at least five business days prior to the expiry of the current declaration.