Jean Challenges NDP Government on Wildfire Funding Cut

EDMONTON, AB (April 21, 2016): In the legislature this week, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean questioned the NDP government about a $400 million cut to wildfire management in the 2016 budget.

Budget 2016 allocates only $86 million to fight wildfires. $200 million less than the average over the last ten years.

“It seems that fighting wildfires is the only line item in the budget that took a hit under the NDP government,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “With a dry spring and summer expected, our government shouldn’t be gambling on a 400 per cent reduction in forest fires.”

The average wildfire season is 143 days long, but the government has told firefighting contractors to set their contract terms at 93 days.

“We need to provide stability and certainty for our front line workers who tackle wildfires every year,” Jean said. “If we have a bad fire season like last year, the government needs to give Albertans better assurances that we will have the resources there when we need them.”