HISTORY

Background

In the late 1980's, increasing pressure from citizens' action groups and a growing body of regulatory legislation encouraged Canadian industry to adopt a proactive approach to disaster planning. In 1991, the Major Industrial Accidents Council of Canada released a national standard on emergency planning for Canadian industry.

Federal and provincial government training programs directed to employees were limited, and subsequent fiscal restraint and down-sizing caused these to stall. It became apparent that there was a substantial deficiency in available training for emergency responders and business continuity planners in Canada, and that alternative training options were required.

In 1992, the Regional Government approached Hamilton's Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology with the objective of forming a partnership to further enhance this training. Mohawk College had the expertise and infrastructure to help develop and deliver formal programs of instruction. Out of this initiative came the proposal to establish the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness.

World Conference on Disaster Management

The first forerunner of the World Conference on Disaster Management (WCDM) was organized in October 1989. This program originally began as an initiative of the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth and its success confirmed the need for emergency preparedness training, not only in Canada but worldwide.

Further conferences were held in 1991 and 1992 to bring together disaster managers from around the world and provide an opportunity for delegates to learn the critical skills of disaster response and recovery. These were comprehensive events which addressed the skills, practices and procedures essential to planning and preparing for emergency or disaster situations, incorporating all of the disciplines involved in disaster response and post-incident relief.

Since 1994 the Conference has been an annual event and is now held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre every summer.

In the fall of 2007 CCEP sold the rights to the WCDM conference to Diversified Business Communications (DBC). While DBC now handles the conference logistics, the trade show and sponsorship opportunities, CCEP has been contracted by DBC to continue to develop and present the program component.

The conference and trade show now attracts delegates from five continents to attend presentations and workshops in business continuity, emergency planning and emergency management. The WCDM has become the premier North American event for training and networking among Emergency Response, Emergency Management, Emergency Health Care, Business Continuity Planning, Risk Management, and Security professionals world-wide, and for the organizations which supply and service these professions.