May 10, 2016

UPDATE: Notley NDP cancelled water bomber tenders AFTER anticipating “very busy fire season”

Sheila Gunn ReidRebel Commentator
 

Alberta's water bomber open tenders for fighting forest fires were cancelled April 29 of this year.

Now, that might have been a reasonable and fiscally responsible thing to do if Alberta had an usually wet spring, heavy snow pack, and colder weather, but we didn't. This is an El Nino year and that means Alberta's weather has been predictably warmer and dryer earlier than normal.

Back in February, Agriculture and Forestry Minister, Oneil Carlier recognized the wildfire risk created by the unseasonably warm weather. Here’s what he told the Globe and Mail:

“While it is difficult to predict what weather conditions will be like in the weeks and months ahead, we know right now that there has been below-average snow and rainfall across much of Alberta over the past few months.”

The province started the official wildfire season March 1st, a full month earlier than normal. Carlier said starting the fire season early “really gives us a leg-up on what we anticipate might be again a very busy fire season.”

Good plan. That is, if he had stuck to it. He didn't.

In the middle of April, a wildfire forced the closure of Highway 63, the only route in and out of Fort Mac, 200 km south of town. At the same time, wildfires across the province triggered evacuations on Paul First Nation, Maskwacis, and in Duffield. Mayor Rod Shaigec, even declared a state of emergency in Parkland County, west of Edmonton.

Lesser Slave Lake regional fire chief, Jamie Coutts said at the time, “I’ve been fighting fires here in Slave Lake for 25 years and I’ve never seen them this dry at this time of the year….We’re getting middle-of-May conditions in the middle of April. That’s a little nerve-racking.”

By mid April, Albertans knew they were already in the midst of something bad.

Approximately ten days later, without any real change in the conditions in Alberta, the tenders for water bomber contracts were cancelled.

If the Notley Government was trying to prove how fiscally responsible it is, this wasn't the way to do it.

Comments
You must be logged in to comment. Click here to log in.
commented 2016-05-12 16:56:01 -0400
We had fires that cost us $375 million last year, so how can the government only allocate $100 million this year when they have been told it is going to be even worse. I am pushing for the adoption of the Guardian system in Canada which can be used on any cargo plane with rollers. This would increase the number of planes that can attack fires and increase the odds of getting them under control before they become a storm of fire. Please see the article on the guardian system here.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-we-fighting-fort-mcmurray-fires-guardian-kyle-a-hein?trk=prof-post
commented 2016-05-12 13:16:24 -0400
Who says you need a law to recall these incompetent fools that are destroying ALberta for generations to come. Demand the resignations of each and every member at the Riding Level.Given that the combined votes of the WIld Rose/PC well exceeded the votes of the NDP candidates in many ridings, it should be simple to mount strong campaigns to put pressure on the weakest of the NDP government.Besides, uniting the right would be far better served by having an activity, an objective to rally around instead of a bunch of talk.
commented 2016-05-12 12:46:18 -0400
@kenneth Lawrence. You’re right that an investigation into the cause of the Fort Mac fire should occur but I have to wonder how seriously it will be pursued. After all, Notley’s government deliberately cut the fire-fighting budget just before the fire and they clearly are no fans of the energy companies given their whole-hearted belief in global warming and their loathing of free enterprise. Would they actually go so far as the hinder the investigation and even cover up for the perpetrators if it was found to be caused by a fellow traveller from the anti-oil crowd? I wish I could answer that with a categorical “no” but I can’t. It would be VERY interesting to talk to those doing the investigation into the causes of the fire to see if Notley and her people are hindering the investigation in any way, such as by holding back on manpower and overtime and co-operation with other agencies….
commented 2016-05-12 12:36:27 -0400
Meanwhile, the Guardian in Britain has figured out what “really” caused the fire: you guessed it, those vicious capitalists that own the resource extraction companies.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2016/may/12/the-arsonists-of-fort-mcmurray-have-a-name
They actually proposed nationalizing the resource companies (if necessary) to put them in the hands of the people so that no more global warming can take place. I guess they think “the people” have been sufficiently indoctrinated that they will happily live without fossil fuels and all that they enable lest their gloom and doom prophesies come to pass. Only time will tell if the indoctrination is complete and we agree to go back to a feudal subsistence agricultural and societal model to placate their fear-mongering.
commented 2016-05-12 08:14:32 -0400
1) I thought you guys wanted reduced spending.

2) How long between tender and delivery? In years?
commented 2016-05-12 08:08:41 -0400
When you’re trying to shutter the Oilsands, you have to everything you can to help the effects of Global Warming, including not making fire fighting equipment available.

Notley’s just doing her job. At this rate, it’s only going to get worse.
commented 2016-05-11 16:28:22 -0400
According to Canadian Press and Postmedia, fire investigators in B.C. say ARSON is believed to be the cause of at least ten wildfires in the Peace region. “The Environment Ministry said Monday that fire investigators and conservation officers have found evidence to suggest the wildfires in the Peace region were deliberately set. The fires are believed to be connected and extra conservation officers have been brought in to help investigate, but they are asking for tips from the public.”

The fire that wiped out much of Fort MacMurray began southwest of the city and moved rapidly to the north and east, i.e. directly toward Fort Mac. In other words, it started directly upwind of Fort Mac. The odds against that happening purely by chance are very low, and there was no lightning in the area when the fire began. Given what B.C. investigators are now saying about the Peace area wildfires, it would seem quite possible that the Fort MacMurray fire could have been started by an act of arson. Presumably an investigation is underway to determine that. If it turns out that arson was the cause, of this fire and/or the ones in northeast B.C., it will be appropriate to ask and find out whether anti-oilsands propaganda had any part in motivating such acts, and if so, such propaganda must cease forthwith.
commented 2016-05-11 14:02:11 -0400
You’re all stupid if you believe the budget was cut immediately. Check your facts before posting such bull. Also during a disaster there is no limit on what a government can spend on it, same as when the conservatives were around during the floods of 2013! Please check your facts before posting incorrect information! People are stupid enough to believe it
commented 2016-05-11 11:40:50 -0400
SCOTT SMITH commented 10 hours ago
“@<a class=“tweet-url username” href=“http://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=andrew”>andrew….be careful about threats like that….you’re bound to be tracked down and detained…..calling for Notley’s resignation and seeking charges of criminal negligence is as far as we dare go, regardless of how much damage she has caused. We must win by the rules."

You mean we have to play by the rules they made up for us that they don’t play by…
I’ll leave the threatening of retribution of politicians and other fascistic scum to people of a hardier bent than I, but I will strongly suggest that we had better start fighting back, and in no uncertain terms, before it’s too late…which it may very well already be, too late.
I hope the politicians and other totalitarian fascists are taking heed of the building rage and resentment of THE PEOPLE in response to the treasonous and criminal betrayal of Canada and Canadians by those enemies of Canada – the politicians and their fellow travelers.

There will be a reckoning…
commented 2016-05-11 11:30:56 -0400
More evidence of negligence for the citizens of Ft Mac to launch a class action lawsuit against the Government of Alberta.
commented 2016-05-11 11:02:25 -0400
Sorry Ron, meant to say rat not eat.
commented 2016-05-11 11:01:12 -0400
Yes Ron,you better go eat Andrew out. This free speech thing is getting way out of hand. Why toads?
commented 2016-05-11 07:53:15 -0400
You all sure eat and drin the Dizzy Levant bullshit propaganda. You are all a bunch of mentally regressive toads.
commented 2016-05-11 07:48:31 -0400
ANDREW

Someone should inform the RCMP of your comment.
commented 2016-05-11 01:02:03 -0400
@andrew….be careful about threats like that….you’re bound to be tracked down and detained…..calling for Notley’s resignation and seeking charges of criminal negligence is as far as we dare go, regardless of how much damage she has caused. We must win by the rules.
commented 2016-05-11 00:19:24 -0400
For a little more contrast to this article check out today’s editorial in the Calgary and Edmonton Sun. “In short, Notley has been a leader”.
commented 2016-05-10 23:43:41 -0400
It is to be hoped that Notley will build new houses for Those who lost Theirs.

I can just see her refusing to do this, she will say it was an act of God. Was cutting the fire fighting budget an act of God?

I wonder what Union God belongs to?
commented 2016-05-10 22:34:38 -0400
This was the Notley government demonstrating how stupid, reckless and incompetent they are in the face of real threats to public safety. It’s too bad it took a tragedy at Fort MacMurray to underline that. 2400 structures burned to the ground in part because Alberta has a stupid, reckless, incompetent government under Rachel Notley, who should RESIGN NOW!!! Notley! You slashed the Alberta firefighting budget by a whopping 80% at the worst possible time, and water bomber contracts were cancelled by your government at the worst possible time. You and your government have demonstrated your utter incompetence. Albertans cannot rely on you to protect them. Please: Do the right thing and RESIGN NOW!!!
commented 2016-05-10 22:17:26 -0400
80% cancelled
2000 public sector hire
commented 2016-05-10 19:48:37 -0400
This was an eye opener when I read this article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/05/09/fort-mcmurray-fire_n_9872944.html

Bad enough that Notley screwed up by canceling the water bomber contracts but to add further insult you also have Trudeau, who claims to care (excuse me while I stifle a large laugh), blows off international aid. Water bombers could have been sent ASAP by the US at least. You can thank the Socialists both at the helm of the province and the country for their gross ineptitude, no doubt the first of many ineptitudes to come.
commented 2016-05-10 19:48:04 -0400
The only people affected by the wild fires are the rural and small city constituencies. The ones who generally voted W/R or P/C. So if they have no place to live because they were burned out, then they won’t be there to vote in the next election. It should be noted, like Shiela did, that Ft Mac was not the only destruction of property by wild fire this past month: there are a number of individual homes destroyed.

However, like the invisible energy minister said in November, these people can move out of Alberta into B/C.
commented 2016-05-10 19:44:08 -0400
Removed for violating rule:Be civil. No personal attacks.
commented 2016-05-10 19:30:55 -0400
Absolutely clueless idiots at the helm of this country and province. No standards, no morals, no conscience, they should all be fired and charged after hampering the firefighters abilities to fight this fire with absolutely everything you got. What a disaster and disgusting caucus.