OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the national emergency-management strategy unveiled Friday will help the federal and provincial governments better co-ordinate prevention and response to natural disasters — an issue raised in Manitoba in recent years.
"The whole objective is to make sure that each of us, within our respective jurisdictions, have all of the capabilities that we need to respond effectively, to try to head off disasters before they happen, as much as that is possible," he said.
"We have to support each other."
Parliamentary hearings have revealed confusion in Manitoba in responding to wildfires on reserves, with some saying the costly, risky evacuations of First Nations over the past two summers might have been prevented if calls to combat approaching fires had been heeded sooner.
Indigenous leaders discussed such issues in some of meetings Thursday. Goodale said those talks will help "to make sure that they are totally engaged and incorporating in the planning" around disasters, and "not an after-thought."
The strategy, posted online Friday, notes Manitoba homeowners and businesses ramping up preventive measures after the devastating 2011 Interlake flood.
Goodale also hailed the governments of Manitoba and Saskatchewan for creating training courses for volunteers who want to help respond to natural disasters.
— Dylan Robertson