May 25, 2017, Ottawa - An Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada audit has found that 53 First Nations reserves lack adequate resources to fight fires.
The internal audit identified 14 "underserviced" sites (13 in Saskatchewan, one in Manitoba) and 39 "limited service sites" (17 in Ontario, 22 in British Columbia) in a briefing note prepared for Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and obtained by CBC News through an Access to Information request.
Although the July 15, 2016, briefing note stresses the numbers could change, the department says the figures are the latest "snapshot" of the state of firefighting resources in communities on the department's watch list.
The department defines "underserviced" and "limited service" sites as those that have limited access to fire trucks and lack knowledge about safety measures such as "installing fire extinguishers, installing smoke alarms and conducting fire drills."
As far as the executive director of the Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada (AFAC) is concerned, the number of communities in need of greater fire protection is actually much higher than the 53 identified in the briefing note. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
May 25, 2017 By CBC News
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