Aug 21, 2023
By Jane Brown
As recently as Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said how dedicated the federal government is to helping people in Western Canada as wildfires continue to rage on.
“We’re there with Canadian Armed Forces resources, we’re active in coordinating with regional and local governments to make sure people are safe, to make sure we’re doing everything to protect lives and property,” Trudeau explained.
But the founder and executive director of Global Medic accuses the feds of not being interested in getting advice from groups like his so they can spend taxpayers money wisely and efficiently to help people affected by the wildfires.
“The three words value for money mean nothing to our federal government when it comes to interventions,” Rahul Singh told The Morning Zoom with Sam and Jane.
Singh went on to say he’s asking for government support to create an inventory of specialized compact firefighting units that can be mounted on the back of pickup trucks.
“We’ve reached out to the feds offering them this idea. They don’t even answer. We’ve reached out in the past when we point out how bad their matching fund is and how it hurts charities and hurts the very people they’re trying to help. They don’t even respond then. When we ask for meetings with the minister, the office doesn’t even bother calling us back, but they’ll tell other MPs they’re talking to us,” Singh revealed.
The fire skids feature 1000 litre water tanks, pumps and hoses constructed to fit in any pickup truck, effectively turning them into fire trucks.
Meantime, there are currently more than 380 active wildfires in British Columbia.
Roughly 30,000 residents are under evacuation orders in the province because of the blazes, including the McDougall Creek fire burning in central Okanagan.
And in Yellowknife, most of the 20,000 who live there have left as the capital of the Northwest Territories is threatened by a blaze about 15 kilometres away.