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Official Opposition Calls on Government to Release PEI Emergency Preparedness Plan

Today in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island, the Minister of Public Safety, against the backdrop of out of control forest fires in NS and NB, refused to share any information on PEI preparedness to combat similar potential scenarios, despite multiple questions from the Official Opposition.

“Minister Thompson said several times that there is a plan in place, but he doesn’t want to discuss in on the floor of the Legislature. He has not told Islanders where they can find it or what information is in it. And in his increased state of agitation, the Minister said that he thinks the Official Opposition is hoping for a forest fire,” says the Leader of the Official Opposition.

“Islanders deserve better than this cheap display of politics from the Minister who is supposedly responsible for Emergency Management. If there is in fact a plan in place for any and all disasters, why won’t this Minister simply tell Islanders what it is?” said Perry.

Forest fires in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have forced thousands of residents to flee their homes, and hundreds of structures have been damaged or destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of Island trees are laying on the ground in the after math of hurricane Fiona and with increased heat and dry periods this spring, forest fires are a risk to Islanders for the first time in living memory. According to the Minister of Environment, a small fire situation that occurred earlier this month in the Crowbush area could have burned across Kings County if the wind direction had shifted.

“The government has a duty to inform Islanders of the risks and plans in place to mitigate and respond to them if needed. Every day that this government refuses to do so, they are potentially putting Islanders and property in jeopardy,” said Hal Perry, Leader of the Official Opposition.

“I am calling on the Minister of Public Safety to immediately release this phantom plan to manage and contain forest fires in PEI. His own cabinet colleagues seem to know just how dangerous a forest fire could be for Island communities and residents. Why then, does this Minister refuse to make this plan public? Now is the time to release the phantom plan, not after a potentially devastating disaster has already occurred. We cannot have a repeat of reactionary governance, as we saw from this Government and this Minister in the face of hurricane Fiona.”

Media Contact:

Robert Godfrey

Office of the Official Opposition



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