According to internal documents, Public Safety Canada is saying it's time to update emergency protocols should a nuclear armageddon become a reality.
Paranoia has spread within the department about the potential for a tactical nuclear exchange between Russia and Ukraine or a nuclear meltdown caused by a compromised power plant.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine, citing threats of NATO expansion to the eastern bloc nation, prompted talks on bolstering Canada's preparedness against a live nuclear threat.
Public Safety Canada is updating a 'highly secret plan' to ensure the continuity of the federal government in the event of an unprecedented crisis.
The Canadian Press filed an access to information request for details on the Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan and learned that Ottawa is finalizing a public alert system for incoming ballistic missiles. Initial consultations with provinces and territories have taken place.
An August 2022 closed-door meeting of senior bureaucrats centred on emergency management highlighted concerns about Russian shelling that hit Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant last year.
"Ongoing military activities have eroded safety systems, disrupted routine maintenance, weakened emergency response capabilities and impacted operating staff, increasing the risk of a severe accident," the notes read.
Among their concerns include nuclear contamination of food and surrounding populations caused by uncontrolled radioactivity, resulting in the procurement of potassium iodide pills for diplomatic missions in Kyiv and neighbouring countries.
According to the internal notes, Public Safety bureaucrats took the added precaution of not anticipating nuclear fallout in other countries nor bearing any "appreciable risk" to Canadians.
"No immediate protective measures would need to be implemented, although there could be some controls put in place for imports from Ukraine and surrounding areas due to potential contamination," revealed the access to information request.
Additionally, the notes conveyed the importance of "a timely and well-coordinated response…to address public concern, high-risk perception, and maintain trust in government."
Public Safety Canada unveiled their intent to modernize the Continuity of Constitutional Government plan in cahoots with the Privy Council Office. It would relocate 'key institutions' such as the Prime Minister's Office, Cabinet, Parliament and the Supreme Court to the underground 'Diefenbunker' installation west of Ottawa.
Public Safety Canada told The Canadian Press that the constitutional continuity plan and the 2018 Missile Warning Protocol are "constantly evolving" but fell short of detailing specifics at the time of writing.