Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says we as a nation need to learn how to protect people from future natural disasters.
This comes as Canada’s leader met with firefighters, first responders, and Indigenous leaders in Prince George this morning to talk about the wildfire situation.
“We’ve been talking about how this season has been long and scattered because of the many, many fires and it’s been something we’ve learned on and improved on some of the challenges working together last year,” Trudeau said.
“There’s been significant improvements. There’s lots more to do as well, but we can really feel that people have pulled together not just to work in the moments but to think of the future as well.”
There are currently a dozen fires of note in the Northwest Fire Centre that have displaced thousands of people from their homes.
Trudeau says communication in a time of crisis means more to those on evacuation than anything else.
“There’s always more that we should be looking at when it comes to better integration, better allocation of resources, and better coordination to make sure what is needed is there. People don’t really care whether it’s Federal help or Municipal help or Provincial help, they just want to see the help at the right time the right way.”
The Prime Minister met with notable Indigenous leaders like BC Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Terry Teegee and Tl’azt’en Nation Grand Chief Ed John.
“When the neighboring Indigenous community turns to the province saying, ‘Well we need resources, but no, you’re a Federal responsibility.’ Well, we need to clear up those lines of flowing resources and ensuring that people get what they need, regardless of whether they’re in an Indigenous community or Non-Indigenous community,” Trudeau said.
“We need to make sure people are safe, homes and livelihoods are protected, and that’s something that we are very much working on and that we will continue to.”
Trudeau says he believes BC firefighters are more than capable of containing the blazes and notes that the Federal government is always ready and willing to help.
Trudeau is the first sitting Prime Minister to visit BC’s Northern capital since Kim Campbell in 1993. During the 2017 wildfire season, he attended Williams Lake with Premier John Horgan.
(With files from Kyle Balzer with MyPrinceGeorgeNow)