OTTAWA, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The broadcasting of official emergency alert messages has been made mandatory for Canada's radio and television stations and networks.
The regulation was put in place on Friday by the government's Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
"Cable and satellite companies, radio stations, over-the-air television stations and video-on-demand services must begin issuing such messages by March 31, 2015," the CRTC said.
A one-year reprieve was given to campus, community-based and native broadcasters.
"During an emergency situation, important information can be relayed quickly to Canadians over the radio and through their televisions," said Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman. "We are making sure that broadcasters and television service providers play their part in improving the security and safety of Canadians.
"Today's decision ensures that Canadians will have access to important local safety messages when these notifications are issued by authorities."