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  • Ahead of dire forest fire season, Mike Schreiner demand action plan

QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner and Aislinn Clancy are calling on the government to step up with a credible, fully funded action plan ahead of the coming forest fire season.

“Ontario is gearing up for what could be one of the worst forest fire seasons on record,” said Clancy.

“Wildland firefighters have been sounding the alarm for months now. They’re underpaid, understaffed, and they don’t have the resources they need to keep themselves and their communities safe.

“But despite these stark warnings, the government is asleep at the wheel.”

“It’s long past time for the government to stop stalling and listen to the needs of the people who work so hard to keep us safe,” said Schreiner.

We are calling on the government to develop a forest fire action plan – in consultation with first responders and Indigenous communities – that includes:

  • Increased funding for both emergency response and preparedness measures to boost access to PPE, training and equipment, and to hire and retain more wildland fire staff;
  • The creation of a dedicated climate adaptation fund to help municipalities make infrastructure climate-ready and reduce the risk of future environmental hazards;
  • Classifying forest rangers as firefighters so they are eligible for better pay and health coverage;
  • A commitment to get Ontario off fossil gas and invest in cheaper, cleaner renewables and Indigenous-led climate solutions; and
  • Enhanced data collection regarding the public health impacts of forest fires.
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