There are wildfires burning all across Alberta. Forty-eight fires are burning in the province according to Wildfire Alberta.
According to a Wildfire Alberta report updated April 19, 2016, Alberta has had 157 wildfires to date in 2016. That's three times the historical average of 51 wildfires.
This is Alberta. Some years we have a hot dry spring that increases our wildfire risk. We know that. It just happens. It wasn't that long ago that the Northern Alberta town of Slave Lake burned. In 2011, 40% of Slave Lake burned causing $700 million in damages when two wildfires converged on the town.
So can anyone tell me why the Alberta NDP cut the wildfire management budget by nearly $15 million in last week’s budget?
The wildfire season in Alberta started over a month early, in February when a massive wildfire ripped through Jasper National Park burning over 5,000 square kilometres. Yet the NDP cut the budget in April for wildfire management by $15 million.
Spending for healthcare increased in the NDP’s recent budget. There wasn't a penny to be cut from the bloat and bureaucracy in that Ministry. The NDP took a machete, instead, to the wildfire fighting budget while Alberta is predicted to have a busy fire season.
The NDP prattle on about protecting the public sector and the healthcare system. What they really need to worry about is protecting rural Alberta and Alberta forest communities from dangerous wildfires.