Ontario's Government for the People Taking Immediate Action to Replace the Province’s Crumbling Public Safety Radio Network

Massive province-wide modernization project will build new state-of-the-art infrastructure

Rossmore, ON – Ontario’s Government for the People is taking immediate action to keep Ontarians safe and protect communities by replacing the province’s crumbling Public Safety Radio Network, which front-line and emergency responders rely on during emergencies.

“Modernizing this network is long overdue,” said Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith. “We need to ensure that our front-line and emergency responders deserve to have reliable, modern tools and resources in place to do their jobs and have our system in line with the North American Standard.”

This multi-faceted project will ensure Ontario’s more than 38,000 front-line and emergency responders ¾ including OPP police officers, paramedics and hospital staff, fire services, provincial highway maintenance staff, as well as enforcement and correctional officers ¾ can count on the communications infrastructure, network and equipment they need when responding to emergencies.

“Paramedics use this radio network every day to relay vital lifesaving information to receiving hospitals. Improving this network is essential to ensure time critical decisions are made in support of patient care,” said Doug Socha, Chief, Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services.

“Ontario’s Public Safety Radio Network is one of the largest in North America and yet one of the last not to comply with the North American standard,” said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. “The daily service outages experienced with the network compromise our front-line and emergency responders’ ability to react to emergencies and put the safety of the public at risk.”

The modernization project will:

  • Rebuild the network’s aging infrastructure (telecommunications towers, antennae, shelters and technology) that provides essential public safety radio coverage across the province
  • Provide front-line and emergency responders as well as their dispatchers with the state-of-the-art radio equipment and consoles they need to manage calls and ensure the right responders get to the right place with the right information at the right time
  • Provide maintenance services to restore network connection and repair equipment for a duration of 15 years

The new network is expected to be fully operational by 2023, with new service phased in by 2021. Infrastructure, equipment and services required to set up and maintain the new network will be acquired through a multi-vendor procurement process. The new network will also present potential opportunities for generating revenue, which will benefit taxpayers. In the meantime, a risk mitigation strategy has been developed to ensure that public safety is not compromised and the current network is maintained until the new network is fully operational.