An Ontario Amber Alert went out using the new emergency alerts system. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

New alert system passes first real test in Canada with Amber Alert

Alert issued for Ontario boy was successfully sent out

Canada’s emergency alert system passed its first real test on Monday as an Amber Alert was successfully sent to cellphones around the country using a new text message alert system.

The alert, which was for Gabriel McCallum, 8, who authorities suspected had been taken by a family member, came through just before 9:30 a.m. PT.

This was the first real use of the new system, after multiple tests in Ontario, Quebec and B.C. were only partially successful earlier this week.

In B.C., the alert message came in for some people on their cellphones, radio and TV at 1:55 p.m. last Wednesday, but many did not get it.

The only requirement to receive the alert was to have a cell phone on a working LTE network, but a Telus representative said its customers need to make sure they have the latest updates.

The province said it would address the issues with the alert system before its official launch in June.


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