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Mulcair promises $9M for disaster preparedness, training

Posted in Featured, Talking Politics

Published on August 21, 2015 with No Comments

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has promised to inject a “modest” $9 million into natural disaster prevention and relief as Western Canada reels from one of its worst wildfire seasons on record.

Mulcair said so while campaiging in British Columbia, where days ago a raging blaze tore through the province’s Interior, destroying dozens of homes and forcing hundreds to flee at a moment’s notice.

During a stop on Vancouver Island, Mulcair committed to restoring $7 million in annual funding to a Joint Emergency Preparedness Program to bolster training and equipment against natural disasters.

“An NDP government will assist provinces to keep Canadians safe from fires and floods as the effects of climate change worsen,” said Mulcair. He made the announcement outside a regional park on Vancouver Island, flanked by a troop of local NDP candidates and members of the Nanaimo Fire Department.

A New Democrat government would sit down with the provinces and territories to discuss strengthening how financial assistance is provided in disaster situations, he said. An additional $2 million would be earmarked for disaster training programs, which he says were cut under the Harper administration. Mulcair took the opportunity to slam the Conservatives’ record on disaster relief, accusing the government of making it unnecessarily difficult for provinces to apply for emergency funding. “Stephen Harper’s plan isn’t working…He’s left Canadians at risk,” said Mulcair. “It’s going to take a lot more than a Conservative photo-op to protect Canadian communities.” The party aims to pick up the majority of seats on Vancouver Island, where MP retirements and rejigged riding lines have left many of the seven electoral districts as dead-heat races between the Tories and the NDP.


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