Owen over at Northern Reflections brings this to our attention:-
Phil Gibson writes: The prime minister’s approach to risk management moves money away from investments in people in order to spend it on technology. This way the private sector gets to spend it instead of other levels of government. Another consequence has been a reduction in support for heavy urban search and rescue teams (HUSAR) in Vancouver, Calgary, St. Boniface, Toronto and Halifax. Meanwhile, a training center for first responders that was run by Public Safety Canada has been shut down and the Canadian Center for Emergency Preparedness has ceased operations, its assets transferred to a community college.
Harper's take on safety is beginning to run thin even in Alberta. Vic Toews may be gone, but he still leaves a bad smell where he has been. Brian Cornforth, president of the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association was not impressed when Toews showed up in High River:
Chief Cornforth blasted Public Safety Minister Vic Toews for “posing” amid the flood recovery operation in High River, saying politicians with no operational role have no business getting in the way. The chief said he is particularly incensed by the program cutbacks to public safety and HUSAR when he hears about misspending in Ottawa.
There are no doubt many other 'cuts' that have taken place that effect public safety and emergency response, one that comes immediately to mind is the closing of key Coast Guard stations on the west coast that service the very waters that are being proposed to carry increased oil tanker traffic. The same tankers that those Con ad's tell us must now be double hulled....a requirement that has been in place both internationally and in Canada for many years.
That there is also an increasing reliance on industry, particularly the transport industry, to 'regulate itself' both on safety issues and spills, and that the ever disappearing government oversight is both under staffed and mostly toothless in the face of increasing environmental and man-made catastrophes tells us exactly where this governments priorities sit.