Calgary, Alberta, July 15, 2011 – The Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) today submitted an application to the Canadian Radio television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) requesting the 3 digit “811” number also be used for the Canadian “Call Before You Dig” program.
“Call Before You Dig” is a critical service that allows the public to efficiently identify the location of buried utilities before starting digging projects to effectively reduce potentially hazardous situations. A Canada wide 3 digit number will make it easier to follow this practice and as a result, protect Canada’s underground utility network and more importantly increase public safety.
“Making that one call is critical, it can save lives or avoid major environmental impacts”, said Mike Sullivan, Chair of the CCGA and President of Alberta One-Call, “An easy to remember nation-wide 3 digit number will increase call volume to One-Call centres and significantly reduce the unnecessary risk to the public and unnecessary interruptions in services.”
In 2007, the 811 number was assigned by the CRTC to tele-health services in Canada to provide non-emergency health expertise over the phone. The CCGA proposes that the 811 number be also used for the “Call Before You Dig” program to serve public health in the widest sense.
“The CCGA recognizes and respects the existing use of 811 in Canada. Broadening the services accessible through this number will lead to greater usage and increased public benefits”, added Sullivan.
In 2007, the 811 dialing code was introduced in the United States as the single number to “Call Before You Dig” resulting in a dramatic decrease in damages to buried utilities. With a 3-digit dialing code, Canada can do the same.
The application is a joint effort among all Common Ground Alliance Regional Partners in Canada and was crafted with the support of the Canadian Gas Association and the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association.
About the CCGA
The Canadian Common Ground Alliance represents Canada’s unified damage prevention voice on issues of national interest and is dedicated to working toward damage prevention solutions that will benefit all Canadians. Regional Chapters of the Common Ground Alliance operate in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec and Saskatchewan.
For more information about the CCGA and its application, please contact:
Chair – Canadian Common Ground Alliance
President – Alberta One-Call