Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo

Government of Ontario

Ford's treatment of wildland firefighters is shameful and puts province at risk

Published on March 22, 2024

QUEEN’S PARK – Official Opposition NDP is calling out the Ford government’s insufficient funding and lackluster plan to prepare the province for wildland forest fire season.  

“Ford's Conservatives clearly undermine the critical role that wildland firefighters play in keeping our communities safe,” said Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk—James Bay), critic for Natural Resources and Forestry. " Wildland fire rangers’ demands are clear. This lump sum will not fix years of chronic underfunding and disrespect. We need full crews and better retention; our province cannot rely on foreign aid much longer.” 

“The Conservatives continue to ignore the perspective of wildland firefighters on the front lines,” added Jamie West (Sudbury), critic for Labour, Training and Skills Development. “Instead, they chose a PR stunt to try to avoid criticism that fails to address longstanding concerns. They continue to put workers and Ontarians at risk, and it cannot stand."   

“Why is Ford so disrespectful of wildland firefighters?” said Lise Vaugeois (Thunder Bay—Superior North), critic for WSIB and Injured Workers. “Under this government, wildland firefighters are poorly paid, poorly protected, part-time, and treated as disposable workers. It’s shameful.”