Above all, the government has one job above all else: Keep people safe.
That must be the first focus of any government, regardless of their political affiliation.
So, having portions of an entire city burn down represents a huge failure.
A leaked report shows that not only was the Alberta government horribly disorganized when the fire occurred, but they also tried to hide the details from the people of Alberta by sitting on the report.
According to the report, Albertans “can expect similar or worse outcomes on a more frequent basis.”
The report explains that municipal crews were coordinated by the Regional Emergency Operations Centre, but provincial crews were run by the wildfire incident command centre.
There was also a failure by the provincial commander to share information with municipal officials.
All in all, it points to a totally disorganized and incompetent system.
One section of the report is particularly damning:
“Consequently, at critical times, when municipal and wild-land firefighters were not physically working together on the ground, they could not directly communicate by radio to identify priorities or support each other. This was particularly problematic when it came to air attack. Alberta Forestry aircraft had no way to forward a direct message to municipal firefighters. Likewise, municipal firefighters had no way of asking for support or directing air-tanker drops; in some instances, they resorted to physical signals that the aircraft could see.”
Brian Jean – Alberta Opposition Leader – has called for a public inquiry. Jean himself lost his home in the fire. Jean ripped the government for hiding the report.
“2500 buildings were lost, including my own, how can the NDP justify hiding this report?” said Jean on Twitter.
Jean is now calling for a judge-led public inquiry, and points out that the government has had the report since March and was hiding it from the public.
The communication from the provincial Incident Command System was so terrible, that a key fire chief found out the wildfire was in their community through social media, rather than the provincial system.
In some cases, different crews weren’t even using the same radio frequency.
The report also said the province was in a “spring startup mindset,” and staff were “anticipating serious wildfire activity was still some time in the future.”
As a result, important resources were not available. Equipment that could have helped map the fire boundary wasn’t there, and vendors were unable to get it delivered in time. Heavy equipment was delayed, and shockingly, at one point crews weren’t even working overnight. There was an entire 24 hour delay getting equipment in place.
Government must pay a price
For a government that spends such massive amounts of money, it’s appalling that something as important as keeping Alberta residents safe was run so incompetently. People have a right to question where all that money is really going.
The NDP government has to pay a big price at the polls in the next election for such a massive failure. And we also can’t forget that Trudeau refused international help while Fort McMurray burned.
He must pay a price at the polls as well.
Incompetence in government must never be rewarded.
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The elites want to hide their many failures behind political correctness, deception, and manipulation. We need to push back and spread the truth.
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