Feds urged to create disaster response force

While Canadian troops have been used to fight unprecedented wildfires this summer, some say there’s a better solution. 

Driving the news: Canada’s former army commander, Lt. Gen. Andrew Leslie, is urging Ottawa to create a national response team dedicated to fighting natural disasters, per the CBC.

  • Leslie says the response team needs to be built with additional funds and cannot depend on a military that he believes is already stretched too thin.

Why it matters: A federal response force specifically trained to respond to climate-related emergencies could take the pressure off of provinces to respond to increasingly frequent and severe extreme weather and disasters.

  • Some experts have argued that a dedicated natural disaster force could reduce financial and staffing stress on regional wildfire services and get emergency responders to disasters faster.

Yes, but: The federal government already supports provinces' emergency response teams with funding and troops and say they have no plans for a national wildfire fighting force right now.

  • Canada already has "sufficient resources to manage the wildfires,” Minister of Emergency Preparedness Harjit Sajjan told reporters.

Bottom line: After a summer of record-breaking wildfires, lethal flooding, and a hurricane, extreme weather has become a national problem—one that may need a national-level response.—LA