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Canada’s military helicopters should assist in fighting some forest fires

Posted on June 1, 2023 by Taber Times

Dear Editor,

Due to climate change, forest fires are becoming more of a problem every year. We need to have more resources available to react quickly and effectively. And Canada’s military has helicopters that are being used mostly to prepare for war. Although this is a necessary and difficult task, during heavy forest fire season these resources could be better used for fighting the more dangerous and potentially immense forest fires. Helicopters may be used with buckets or belly tanks and other uses. And the skill to do these tasks is similar to military tasks.

A very experienced pilot who also flew water bombers in BC for ten years, Peter Lauren has tried to convince the federal and provincial government to implement this idea for many years. The governments have given him little or no response. Understandably it will not be easy to accomplish this. The military will be reluctant because they are heavily tasked, understaffed and underfunded.  The federal government will be reluctant because forests are a provincial responsibility. And the provinces are often reluctant to ask for support from the federal government. But perhaps this could be accomplished to work smoothly through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre.

In order to convince the governments to do this, the public has to contact many different politicians and officials to show support for an idea that is overdue for implementation. As many people as possible have to contact public servants such as the following and tell them to get this done.

Your MP

Your MLA

Minister of Forests in your province

Public Safety communications@ps-sp.gc.ca

Natural Resources form at https://contact-contactez.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca

Minister of National Defence DND_MND@forces.gc.ca

Prime Minister form at https://pm.gc.ca/en/connect/contact

If we all get together, we can convince our governments to work together a little more to be more efficient and effective.

Fred Trudell and Peter Lauren, Victoria

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