Hello, my name is Teepu Khawja and I am the Chief of Emergency Management for the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM), within the Ministry of the Solicitor General. It is my sincere hope that you are all doing well, staying safe and managing the stress of the last few months as we deal with the global COVID-19 pandemic that has affected us all in so many ways.
Since COVID-19 has limited our regular face-to-face engagements, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the province’s wider emergency management community.
I started my career in the Ontario Public Service in 2006, when I joined the Ministry of Transportation (MTO). Over the past several years, I’ve held progressive leadership roles and led a number of high-performing, diverse and inclusive teams in the areas of policy, project delivery and operations across multiple MTO divisions. In 2016, I became the Director, Central Region of the Provincial Highways Management Division, and that’s where I became interested in emergency management, given MTO’s responsibility under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for transportation planning, as well as Central Region being home to two nuclear facilities.
For most of 2019, I served as acting Assistant Deputy Minister of the Provincial Highways Management Division for MTO and assumed the role of Chief of Emergency Management on Feb. 24, 2020. As you can imagine, my onboarding activities went out the window two weeks later.
During the past few months, I have received a crash course in provincial emergency management as we grappled with an unprecedented pandemic in addition to the annual flood and forest fire emergency response which has been complicated as well by COVID-19.
I want you to know how much I respect and appreciate the role of Chief, Emergency Management and the team that supports it, as well as your expectation that we work together as partners. As we have managed highly visible and complex issues over the past six months, it has been a privilege to serve in this leadership role.
In this 80th year of emergency management in our province, I am committed to using my experience to serve and support the emergency management community. I look forward to getting know each of you better and exploring the future opportunities that lie ahead.
All the best and stay safe,Teepu Khawja