In June we were honoured to welcome E-Comm shareholders to our Annual General Meeting (AGM) where we were able to share examples of the outstanding contributions our partners and staff made to public safety in 2015.
These included managing call-taking and dispatch for major police events such as shootings and in-progress robberies and supporting firefighters in battling high-risk fires in both urban and rural settings. We also continued to expand our services, advance our technology and meet our financial objectives in 2015 thanks to the efforts of our staff. E-Comm’s mission is to help save lives and protect property and to build public safety partnerships. Our staff contributed greatly to both our mission and our vision of safer communities in B.C. through excellence in public safety communication. I invite you to learn more about how they are doing that by reading our 2015 Annual Report.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to welcome new members to our Board of Directors appointed by shareholders at the AGM: Pitt Meadows Councillor Bruce Bell, Deputy Minister Becky Denlinger (responsible for Emergency Management BC), Lois Karr (RCMP), Paul Mochrie (City of Vancouver) and Terry Waterhouse (City of Surrey). I’d also like to thank departing directors Gary Bass, Len Garis, Sadhu Johnston and Patrick Quealey for their contribution to E-Comm and to recognize retiring Chair Jocelyn Kelley who has helped to steer our organization over the past six terms. Our congratulations also to newly appointed Board Chair Doug Campbell who we know will help to keep the momentum going through his leadership.
We continue to make great progress with the replacement of the regional radio system with our team focused on completing the development of new radio sites in preparation for agencies to begin transitioning onto the new network in 2017. Our police, fire and ambulance partners will have the ability to choose equipment that best suits their agencies’ unique needs when the new system rolls out, which is just one of the many advantages of moving to the new advanced P25 digital technology. I am also happy to report that due to careful financial oversight and management, no spike in radio levies is anticipated for our shareholders despite the additional features and capacity of the new system. In fact, we anticipate the annual costs will be about the same as the current network.
In the past few months E-Comm continued to contribute to the national dialogue on evolving Canada’s 9-1-1 infrastructure by submitting response papers to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s public consultations. We support a coordinated approach to developing a national regulatory framework for what is commonly referred to as Next Generation 9-1-1; to more information-sharing on other potential initiatives such as Wireless Public Alerting and the ability to send emergency alerts to mobile devices within a targeted area. The results of these important consultations will have a direct impact on 9-1-1 centres across Canada and we will continue to participate in their development.
And finally, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge a significant milestone within the public safety community—the celebration of 50 years of service by E-Comm’s Director of Fire Services, Dave Mitchell. On behalf of E-Comm and the entire public safety community we thank you for your leadership and expertise in advancing communications across our province.