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Statement: Provincial NDP Should Restore Wildfire Management Budget


Ottawa, ON — Today, Arnold Viersen, MP for Peace River – Westlock, made the following statement in the House of Commons regarding the Alberta NDP government’s cuts to the wildfire management budget:

Mr. Speaker

Alberta has experienced a below average snowfall and above normal temperatures this spring leading to Alberta’s wildfire season starting a month early. As a result, over the past two days, dozens of wildfires have started across Alberta, requiring the efforts of over 650 firefighters, 12 helicopters and 2 air tankers.

Despite the warnings of an extremely dry and hot summer, the provincial NDP government is cutting $15 million from the wildfire management budget jeopardizing the safety of Albertans. Schools and First Nations communities have been evacuated, highways closed, buildings destroyed and two fire fighters injured. In my riding, Air tanker pilots have been hard at work putting out wild fires near Slave Lake, even while their jobs hang in the balance, due to these reckless NDP cuts.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the 650 firefighters for their incredible efforts to battle the fires across the province and I call on the Alberta NDP government to restore the critical funding to wildfire management.