Canada's NDP


June 10th, 2024

As wildfire season begins, NDP calls for a national wildfire fighting force

OTTAWA – On Monday, NDP Emergency Preparedness and Climate Resilience critic Richard Cannings sent a letter to the prime minister urging him to create a national wildfire task force.

Right now, dealing with wildfires falls primarily on the provinces and territories, with assistance from the military. However, the Chief of the Defense Staff has recently said that the military won’t have the capacity to deal with this summer’s fires. To fill this gap, Cannings says the federal government must step up with a national wildfire task force that could be deployed across Canada to assist provinces and communities in fighting forest fires.

“Canadians are already seeing devastating wildfires, and we’re expecting even more this summer,” said Cannings. “With families across the country already being forced to flee their homes, kids unable to play outside because of wildfire smoke, and communities stretched thin trying to fight these fires, Canadians expect their government to have a plan to keep them safe. But even after last year’s record-breaking wildfire season, the Liberals are delaying action. People can’t afford more delays when the worst of the wildfire season is around the corner.”

In February, a poll showed that three out of four Canadians support the idea of a national wildfire-fighting force.

“The Liberals and the Conservatives before them have left it up to the military to fill the gaps in handling natural disasters. But the problem is, with climate change, we’re seeing more frequent and extreme weather events,” said Cannings. “The Liberals should have created a wildfire task force years ago. The NDP is calling on the prime minister to start putting Canadian communities first by creating a wildfire task force that will help save lives.”