Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to close gaps between First Nations and municipalities on fighting wildfires on Thursday after meeting with local leaders facing treacherous flames in British Columbia.
Trudeau acknowledged the divide in resources for municipalities, which work with the province on forest fires, and First Nations reserves, which fall under federal responsibility.
“Municipalities get resources from provinces, but when the neighbouring Indigenous community turns to the province: ‘Well, we need resources.’ ‘Well, you are a federal responsibility,’ ” he said.
“We have to clear up those lines of flowing resources and ensuring people get what they need, regardless of whether they are in an Indigenous community or a non-Indigenous community.”
Trudeau left the federal cabinet meeting in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island to travel to Prince George in central B.C. to meet with those working to control some of the 563 wildfires that have charred more than 6,000 square kilometres of the province.