For Immediate Release
7 June, 2023
NDP MHA Jordan Brown (Labrador West) is again calling on government to develop a more proactive approach to wildfire preparedness instead of the present reactive response. Brown says re-instating emergency forest-fire-response teams and a water bomber in Labrador West after the Liberal Government cut services in 2019 would be a start.
“We need a proactive and not reactive approach to dealing with wildfires. This situation is evolving year over year due to climate change,” said Brown. “For years I have called on the government to reinstate an emergency wildfire response team in Labrador West and permanently station a water bomber here as was the practice until the service was cut by the Liberal Government in 2019.”
This week in Canada, 400 wildfires are burning. There have been 2,214 wildfires reported in Canada this year alone scorching upwards of 3.4 million hectares of land. Brown says a national strategy with proper resources needs to be developed, but in order for that to work regions need to have trained fire response teams of their own and equipment like water bombers at the ready and dispatched when needed. This would allow local teams to respond appropriately and then turn to the federal response team to compliment their response.
“We are thankful that the water bomber sent to help with fires in Nova Scotia from Newfoundland and Labrador was able to be safely recalled to help fight fires impacting our region but that may not always be the case,” said Brown. “It was fortunate that countries around the world have sent help, like France who have dispatched crews to Quebec. But, as climate change continues to impact the world – the current approach means governments may have to pick and choose who gets help when. That is quite concerning as we find ourselves cut off from some supply routes and fires continue.”
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or email@example.com