‘Business as usual is not going to cut it’: Niki Ashton on feds’ economic update and wildfires

Published: 30 November 2023

As the ash settles on Canada’s record wildfire season, “business as usual from the federal government is not going to cut it,” NDP MP Niki Ashton told Canada’s National Observer.

Last year, the auditor general released a scathing report highlighting the failure of Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) to prepare robust emergency management plans for First Nations. The audit noted ISC’s regional emergency plans were absent or outdated and no risk assessment had been done on the hardest hit nations, even after an earlier 2013 audit called for one. The department also spent three and a half times more on responding to emergencies than it did preparing for and preventing them over the previous three years, the audit found.

Climate change does not impact people in the same way, said McGill University climate researcher Mohammad Reza Alizadeh. Alizadeh said in an earlier interview with the National Observer that his research shows Indigenous peoples have fewer resources and less robust infrastructure than non-Indigenous communities and are impacted by climate disasters at a higher rate.

Back to top