In Canada, testing a new alert system for emergency situations

9:35am CHAT News Today File

9:35am CHAT News Today File

CRTC spokesperson Patricia Valladao said the difficulties in Quebec did not originate with cellphone service providers.

The CRTC continued to say that "the officials responsible for these tests at Emergency management organizations and at Pelmorex are looking into it and we are continuing to monitor the situation".

Valladao said that in a code sequence that was entered manually by a Pelmorex employee, a space was included incorrectly, which prevented the system from sending the message in Quebec through wireless phones.

Depending on settings, users with compatible devices on an LTE network will hear a tone similar to an ambulance siren or feel a vibration for eight seconds.

But there was nothing but silence. The rest of the country, except Nunavut, will receive test alerts on May 9.

Pelmorex, the system provider in charge of managing the wireless device alerts, is working to correct the problem as soon as possible, said Thomas Blanchet, spokesperson for Quebec's Public Security Ministry.

"I forgot that we were getting that emergency alert testing on our phones", wrote one Twitter user, going only by Mary.

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The test is also schedule to broadcast over radio and television.

But Blanchet said those alerts have been in place for app users since 2015, and that Monday's wireless testing is different. Similar to the system that caused panic in Hawaii at the beginning of the year when a message about an impending missile strike was mistakenly sent to cell phones.

The alert system is created to notify the public of imminent disaster or emergency such as a tornado warning, a biological threat of some kind, or the spill of hazardous materials.

Unlike SMS text messages, the Alert Ready messages are one-way, operate on a separate channel and are not billed to subscribers. Not connected to the network devices will not get the alert, but those who are talking on the phone, can hear their dialogue is interrupted by a sound similar to signal "call in idle mode".

Wednesday's test comes after the system misfired on Monday in Quebec and was a hit and miss in Ontario with some people receiving notifications while others did not.

Yukon 1:30 p.m.

Saskatchewan 1:55 p.m.

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