Ford 'won't spare a penny' to fight wildfires but won't declare state of emergency

·1 min read

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he "won't spare a penny" to help fight the northern wildfires and support evacuees, but he isn't declaring a state of emergency.

Ford made the comments today in Thunder Bay, where he is visiting the wildfire command centre and meeting with evacuees and community leaders.

First Nation leaders have called on Ontario to declare a state of emergency over the situation, but Ford says it wouldn't make any more resources available, it would just mean the province taking over everything.

Government officials have said the legal conditions have not been met to declare a state of emergency, which include a lack of available resources to support the crisis.

The head of Nishnawbe Aski Nation, which represents 49 First Nations in northern Ontario, said ahead of the premier's visit that he intended to tell Ford the government isn't doing enough.

Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler says there are 1,300 people in Pikangikum First Nation who are waiting to be flown out, but they have nowhere to go.

More than 3,000 people have already been evacuated from First Nations communities as the province battles a wildfire season that's more aggressive than usual.

Officials said this week that the number of wildfires is nearly double the 10-year average.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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