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The Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games Experience

4. Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Partners for the Games

The entire operation of the Games would not have been successful without the contributions of expertise from all levels of government, from the private sector and from the team of individuals who were assembled to bring all facets of the Games operations to light. With the venues spread across the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area of southern Ontario, there was a requirement for ECCC to engage with many partners in each of the municipalities and regions. The Ontario Government was given accountability for safety and security, while 13 federal departments, including ECCC, played their parts as EFS contributors to the smooth execution of the Games.

4.1 TO2015 Main Operations Centre

The Toronto Organizing Committee for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games (TO2015), was a non-profit organization responsible for producing and financing the Games. Their Main Operations Centre (MOC) was the planning and operational headquarters for both Games. The individuals at the TO2015 MOC were identified as those required to be in the “hub” of activities of the Torch Relays and the Games. The office was physically located in the Corus Quay building at Toronto Harbourfront, a few kilometres away from the venue clusters in Toronto’s downtown, to maintain oversight for all venues from a central location. From here, resources could be dispatched to any venue requiring assistance, transportation aid or material items such as radio transponders.

A formal Service Level Agreement (SLA) was drafted between ECCC and TO2015. The SLA defined the general principles of cooperation created between the participants undertaking technical and expert service-related activities as part of the cooperative alliance between ECCC and TO2015 during the Games. It detailed the obligations of each participant, the types of products and services expected by each, and the support response times required in order to maintain operations efficiently and effectively. By mid-April 2015, the approved SLA was signed by representatives of both organizations (see Figure 4).

As a result of the signed agreement, ECCC situated its briefing team at the TO2015 MOC to support the operation of the Games directly. Inside the MOC, daily briefings were held with updates from all partners. The first briefing of each morning was particularly important, as it described perspectives on issues and events of the day including the effects of weather, where appropriate.

Figure 4.

Photo of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Project Lead (left) and the TO2015 Senior Manager of Sport Services (right) signing the Service Level Agreement papers on April 9, 2015.

4.2 Essential Federal Services

The Government of Canada, through the 2015 Pan/Parapan Games Multiparty Agreement (MPA), committed funding for capital projects, legacy initiatives and Essential Federal Services (EFS) in support of the Games. The Department of Canadian Heritage, through Sport Canada’s Hosting Program Division and Federal Secretariat, was responsible for ensuring and supporting collaborative, coordinated planning; overseeing integrated horizontal risk and performance management; and overall reporting in relation to the federal investment in the Games.

The Department of Canadian Heritage, as the lead department for federal involvement in the Toronto 2015 Games, acted as the horizontal project coordinator and chaired the Essential Federal Services Working Group (EFSWG). Thirteen federal departments, including ECCC, were identified as EFS for the Games, and had representation on the EFSWG (see Table 1). Canadian Heritage, in consultation with other departments, agencies and Multi-Party Agreement (MPA) parties involved in the planning of EFS, determined when planning, performance or risks dictated the need to bring items to the EFSWG. They also determined when to elevate items to senior officials for decision and direction to ensure that MPA EFS commitments were achieved.

The objective of the Working Group was to provide a forum to support coordinated and integrated planning and reporting across federal departments and agencies for the horizontal elements of the Government of Canada’s investment in essential federal services for the Games.

The EFSWG facilitated EFS delivery for the Games by supporting horizontal planning, performance, risk and issue management across all EFS service areas, federal departments, agencies and MPA parties, as well as supporting federal accountability and reporting in relation to EFS commitments.

The federal services were grouped into the following four service areas:

Table 1. Federal Service Areas and Organizational Interests
Service AreaOrganizational Interests
Weather Forecasting and Environmental AssessmentsEnvironment and Climate Change Canada
Emergency PreparednessPublic Safety Canada
Public Health Agency of Canada
Health Canada
Canada Border Services
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Transport Canada
Environment and Climate Change Canada
SecurityRoyal Canadian Mounted Police
Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Public Safety Canada
Transport Canada
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Fisheries and Oceans Ocean
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Canada Border Services
Border Security and Accreditation SupportCanada Border Services
Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Departments and agencies used the existing infrastructure within their organizations and across government to determine if the security threat or risks to the environment had changed in the lead up to, during and immediately after the Games. They followed established protocols and procedures to determine and respond to any elevation in any security threat.

4.3 Provincial Emergency Operations Centre

The provincial Government of Ontario was responsible for the safety and security of the Games, for which the Ontario Provincial Police had the lead. The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management was the lead agency for directing and coordinating Ontario’s consequence management strategy for the Games.

The Government of Ontario’s 24/7 Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) monitors evolving situations inside and outside of Ontario. This ensures that key decision-makers and provincial resources are able to respond to evolving situations as quickly as possible. The key function of the PEOC is to coordinate Ontario Government response to major emergencies. This includes providing municipalities and First Nations with a single point of contact for provincial assistance in times of crisis. The mission of the PEOC during the Games was to effectively coordinate provincial consequence management activities in response to any large-scale incident or event that may have affected the safe and successful completion of the Games and may have required coordination of provincial resources. The PEOC was the provincial hub for consequence management planning and consequence management information sharing with Games stakeholders.

Inside the PEOC, the coordination of the security risks and concerns were handled daily. As part of its standard forecast and alerting program, ECCC provides the PEOC with daily email weather updates to facilitate their decision making, with more frequent updates as required. This procedure continued during the Games.

4.4 Unified Command Centre

The Unified Command Centre (UCC) was the policing headquarters set up specifically for the Games in Brampton, Ontario, and was the hub of all Games policing and security. The Ontario Provincial Police created an Integrated Security Unit to provide on-site security-related expertise and liaison among security partners to ensure consistency and coherency in operations. Within the UCC, ECCC worked through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to support policing activities for the Integrated Security Unit. Police forces undertaking special activities would ask for forecasts and weather conditions in localized regions within the Games footprint.

Although there was no formal signed agreement, ECCC situated another briefing team at the UCC to support policing and security activities for the Games. Inside the UCC, daily briefings were held, with updates from all relevant police jurisdictions.

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