May 09, 2016

SHOCKING: Here’s why Canada’s largest water bomber wasn’t “available” to fight wildfire in Fort Mac

Sheila Gunn ReidRebel Host | The Gunn Show

(May 10 UPDATE: CLICK HERE for Sheila Gunn Reid's LATEST report on this shocking story, with even more troubling details.)

The Martin Mars is Canada’s largest water bomber. It’s staged at Sproat Lake BC, a short flight away from Fort McMurray and could have been used in the fight against the massive wildfire nicknamed “The Beast” by Fort Mac fire chief Darby Allen. But it wasn’t.

The bomber wasn't there because the company that owns it wasn't asked by Alberta government officials to make it available to fight fires in Alberta.

In response to a deluge of questions from concerned people wondering why the company hasn't sent their massive water bomber to help, Coulson Flying Tankers released this statement:

“Firstly, if there was a request by the Alberta Government to contract the Martin Mars, we would do everything in our power to support the request. In fact, we have offered one of our C-130's that could be made available immediately, to the Alberta Government however they currently do not see a need for it at the moment. We have our crews for it on standby, regardless. Next to the Mars at 7200 US gallons, our C-130's are the largest propeller driven air tankers in the world with a 4400 US gallon capacity. Secondly, in the firefighting business it is the government that has operational control of the aircraft. No aircraft operator in the world can simply go and put out a fire, even if they wanted to and if someone ever did, they would be facing serious criminal charges.The Mars is currently going through it’s yearly inspection. Based on the fact no government has any interest whatsoever in the aircraft fighting fire, we have decided to take the Mars to the Oshkosh Air Show in late July in hopes of finding another business or home for it, keeping it somewhat operational.”

So the bomber was ready and available for the Alberta government to hire to fight the fire. But it wasn’t contracted.

Premier Notley said that “every single resource that is needed to fight that fire will be dedicated no holds barred.” Sure. Except contracting the Martin Mars when it was available and the C130 bomber and flight crew that Coulson Flying Tankers is offering. The government hasn’t taken them up on their offer of help because they do not see the need.

If there’s no need for extra tankers in Fort Mac, when will there ever be a need? It’s important to note that later on that day, after that exchange, after being accused by the Premier of fear mongering, Brian Jean's own house burned down in the fire at Fort Mac.

But it gets even worse as I show how we know the Premier isn't telling the truth. We know from what the Coulson Flying Tankers said. Notley flat out lied. She lied to the face of a man trying to save his community. There aren't as many water bombers on contract this year as last. And Notley certainly isn’t using “that and more” as she says to fight the fires.

In fact, now we know she hasn’t taken Coulson Flying Tankers up on their offer of the C-130 and even if the government tried to hire the Martin Mars, they can’t. Not anymore because the government didn't heed the warnings that this would be an early and fierce wildfire season and contract with the appropriate amount of tankers. It’s too late. They're gone and working somewhere else. The bomber companies are now left doing what they can to pay the bills, whether that’s going to an airshow in Wisconsin or taking contracts in the states to fight fires. They’re just trying to make sure they still have a company to operate next year to fight fires. Who can blame them? I don’t.

I’m a small c conservative. There aren’t a lot of things I think government should do. But wildfire management is one of them. Keeping fires from burning your house down seems like one of those public safety things we could be okay expecting government to do for us.

Last year the province spent $500 million on wildfires, when only $200 million was budgeted. The department is consistently underfunded. Notley underfunded it again, so badly that tankers are going elsewhere.

In all the government spending Alberta does, the highest per capita in the country, the place Rachel Notley saw fit to cut was wildfire management. She didn’t make a single cut to bureaucracy in health and government. Not a penny in inefficiency could be found there.

The only places she could cut?

Agriculture and the safety of Alberta’s forest communities.

(May 10 UPDATE: CLICK HERE for Sheila Gunn Reid's LATEST report on this shocking story, with even more troubling details.)

PS: The Rebel is asking for donations and volunteers at So far hundreds have signed up to join our caravan from Edmonton to Fort McMurray. CLICK HERE to learn more and sign up, too.

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commented 2016-05-09 18:55:51 -0400
By God, the whole country is being serviced George Carlin style by our governmental leaders.
This premier should be held criminally responsible for her inactions!even third world countries such as India and Pakistan hold their civil servants responsible when disaster strikes and could have been avoided.
When companies screw up, their CEO’s fall on their swords. Why not politician?

commented 2016-05-09 18:46:27 -0400
Ah yes – the reduced fire fighting budget comes back to haunt her
commented 2016-05-09 18:42:55 -0400
Sure glad this doesn’t look like Notley wanted to see Fort McMurray burn.

Holy shit folks!!!

Someone shoot this bitch dead!!!