Municipality Support: COVID-19

In uncertain times, clear communications can make the difference –

for you and your community. We can help.

The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the vital relationship between municipalities, first responders, health-care workers and the people they serve. Effective communications can help save lives in a crisis, can help people recover and can help people return to a normal life. Every community has been affected differently by the Covid-19 pandemic and now has unique needs. 


Templates can get you started – experience delivers results.


We have the communications team to help you navigate these uncertain times and help your community recover and prepare for when your new normal begins.


Your municipality will experience unique challenges that will require specific attention but we’ve identified several that may be impacting you.

Is our municipality doing everything it can during this unprecedented time?  How we can help

How do we know we are responding to the needs of our stakeholders? We need to know how people are feeling and what they’re thinking.  How we can help

We declared a State of Local Emergency during COVID-19 and need support.  How we can help

How can we support our elected representatives in demonstrating expected levels of leadership?  How we can help  

Many of our employees have been deputized into communications roles they aren’t entirely familiar with.  How we can help

Our communications team has been giving 100% and could use some support.  How we can help

How do we keep our employees engaged and informed? How we can help

We formed regional emergency communications with other municipalities, can you still help us?  How we can help

When COVID-19 is under control, returning to normal won’t be normal. How we can help  

We need support developing messaging and strategies to communicate with constituents regarding fiscal constraints going forward that will be impactful.  How we can help  

Our municipality would like to study how we responded to this crisis to prepare for the next one.  How we can help  

We need additional support.  How we can help

Our Municipality Support Team

In order to best support Canadian municipalities, The Centre for Crisis & Risk Communications and JGR Communications have assembled an expert team of professionals. By working together, your municipality can be assured that you are receiving the best support available.

Ben Head Shot

Benjamin Morgan, M.A. Communications

Principal, Centre for Crisis & Risk Communications

Led local communications during Canada’s two costliest natural disasters and largest peace time evacuations: 2013 Calgary Floods and 2016 Fort McMurray Wildfires. Associate faculty at Royal Roads and Mount Royal Universities.

Meet Ben

Ben’s LinkedIn


Jackie Sargent, SCMP®

Accredited Strategic Communications Management Professional TM through the Global Communications Certification Council.

Award-winning professional communicator experienced in internal and external communication, media relations, intergovernmental relations, issues management, crisis communications, and public relations, primarily in municipal government communications.

Jackie’s LinkedIn


Jim Rudolph

President, JGR Communications

Jim is the president JGR Communications, founding the company in 2010. His 22 years of communications and media experience spans many sectors, including municipalities, utilities, agriculture, transportation and economic development. He managed in-house corporate communication departments for several high-profile Alberta organizations. Over his career, he has managed high-stakes issues and crises, ranging from labour disputes to aviation incidents. Jim understands the need for consistent, clear narrative internally and externally to drive crisis response and recovery.

Jim’s LinkedIn

JMackay headshot (003)

Jonathan Mackay, B.Sc.

President, Big Cat Consulting Ltd.

With an education in microbiology and volumes of experience in community engagement, Jonathan Mackay is a rare combination of high-end communication skills backed by scientific know-how. Working with leaders from Indigenous communities, governments, industry and the public, his passion is helping groups find their long-term vision through solution-focused dialogue, and then helping them to build the roadmap to get to that bright future. He has been extensively trained through the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) in the planning and facilitation of effective, efficient stakeholder engagement programs.

Jonathan’s LinkedIn


Karen Leibovici

Past President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Karen’s professional background includes personnel management, labour relations and social work.

She has over 20 years of combined political and public service as an elected provincial representative and an elected municipal Councillor.

While on Council, Karen was involved in numerous key policy issues and led many city wide initiatives. One such initiative was the development of the City’s Vision to 2040 through broad public engagement and the development of the City’s strategic 10 year plan – The Way Ahead.

In addition, Karen has undertaken leadership positions in other organizations such as President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Chair of the Green Municipal Fund

Karen has a Masters of Social Work degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management.

Meet Karen

Karen’s LinkedIn


Jeff Angel, B.A., Political Science

Principal, Centre for Crisis & Risk Communications

Jeff Angel has an extensive background in crisis communications, corporate communications, public relations, stakeholder engagement, marketing and brand positioning.

Jeff has held a number of executive positions in his career including Senior Vice President Communications, The Americas, for British Airways.  He has also worked with various Fortune 500 companies including; Westjet, Canadian Airlines, Trans Canada, Enbridge, Shell, 3M, the Edmonton Oilers and also with various levels of governments including the Canadian federal government, eight Canadian provincial governments, the Cities of Calgary and Edmonton.

Jeff’s LinkedIn 

Doug Downs, SCMP®
Managing Partner, JGR Communications

Accredited Strategic Communications Management Professional TM through the Global Communications Certification Council. Has worked with dozens of municipalities.  Has led stakeholder engagement for multi-billion-dollar projects using IAP2 techniques.

Meet Doug

Doug’s LinkedIn

To further support your municipality, this dynamic communications team works with some of Canada’s leading emergency management, business impact, and business continuity professionals.

Through our relationships, our Municipality business impact & continuity / risk & crisis communication support offering provides a comprehensive look at all of your municipality management needs.

Greg Solecki, CEM, CBCP, MCML

Implementing and leading all aspects of Crisis Management and business continuity for public and private organizations.

Greg has over 20 years of senior leadership experience in emergency, continuity, crisis and risk management.

The focus of his expertise is to ensure leaders and executives are prepared for major business interruptions such as loss of workforce (pandemic), loss of workplace (earthquake) or loss of service (cyber attack) through site alignment and corporate crisis leadership.

He has created numerous preparedness, continuity, and security programs to ensure progressive and sustained operations, additionally serving as site and EOC manager during countless emergencies and disasters in Canada.

Greg provides his expertise for international standards development related to crisis, emergency, and continuity management.

Scott Roberts, MA Leadership

Vice President IAEM Canada. Emergency Manager, Community Builder, Facilitator

An emergency management leader with a diversified background in strategic, operational and tactical preparedness, response and recovery programs. Internationally trained and accredited as an NFPA emergency services instructor, accredited as an Incident Command System (ICS) instructor in Canada and an accredited Associate Business Continuity Professional (ABCP).

Scott enjoyed a three decade career in policing with experiences from street patrol, investigations, program development and management of members. As a serving Toronto Police officer he performed as the lead or as a member of the joint services Ground Search and Rescue team, Public Order Management team, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear explosives (CBRNe) team and Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team (HUSAR) Canada Task Force 3.


There has never been a modern time like COVID-19, but the principles of good crisis communications have not changed. Caring, Conviction, and Optimism (CCO) remain those governing principles and our team can help you study what you’ve done already and identify the right next steps.

While COVID-19 is unique in modern history, there have been many rare events that require unique communications execution. The fires in Fort McMurray in 2016 and the floods in the Calgary area in 2013 are two such examples. Our team has leaders who played significant, senior communications roles in those events and we can bring that experience to you.

It’s important to connect with your residents and stakeholders before, during, and after your recovery plan is created to make sure their needs and priorities are being considered. More sophisticated communications strategies include efforts to identify and engage key stakeholders, both internal and external. Show people you’re committed to meaningful input to help build the plan. We can help you develop effective community engagement plans and resources that get high viewership and participation rates, resulting in the critical input needed for informed decision-making. Our team is trained in best public participation practices through IAP2 (International Association for Public Participation). 

We can facilitate a debrief to help identify deficiencies and key strengths

In times like this, leaders are under intense pressure to get their messages right. Whether it’s speaking with employees or to the media. Members of our team have trained elected representatives and senior organizational leaders for close to two decades. Whether it’s media training or presentation coaching, we can help your senior leaders convey the concern they feel, give the context and convince people to take the necessary actions.

We know from the work we’re currently doing with municipalities and other clients that this is the norm. These deputized employees don’t feel entirely comfortable in these temporary roles but also don’t want to let the organization down and many aren’t willing to speak up. We can help mentor these employees, even if they are in leadership roles, and provide accredited communications professionals with years of experience to help.

Your team deserves a break but the communication can’t stop.

The team we have built is made up of strategic leaders and communications generalists ready to help. We are members of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS), and the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2)

Studies show your employees trust their employer more than they trust government. Employee communication is critical.

Our team provides accredited Strategic Communications Management Professionals who have been recognized to have met a global standard for communications counsel. We can help you build plans that work during COVID-19 and once workers start returning to the office.

We can build those plans, help mentor your existing communications staff, and provide tools to help meet staff expectations for communication, manage anxieties, and keep things ticking.

Yes, we can develop plans and strategic frameworks for communications that work for individual municipalities and for regional groups.

Our team is experienced and skilled in Change Management philosophies for communications planning. Steps will need to be taken internally to what can and should begin to change and how your communications team fits within those changes. Our team is familiar with processes for change management including Prosci’s ADKAR model and the Knoster model for managing complex change.

Many existing municipal clients are experiencing this, and we have messaging and strategies developed that can be fine-tuned

Full audit and gap analysis of your response and existing crisis plan with recommendations to support new developments. If no crisis plan is in place, we can help you establish one or build a framework for one

Learn more about our services: communication audits, crisis & risk communication audits, crisis & risk communication plan building, training & coaching, media training & coaching, presentation training & coaching, communication plan practicing: table tops & functional exercises