Trudeau haters off base in criticisms of his Fort McMurray response

Trudeau haters off base in criticisms of his Fort McMurray response

It is a reality of the Internet that there’s no filter. People are free to display their ignorance and hate to their heart’s content, never having to fuss about accuracy or fairness.

The wildfires that forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray has brought the armchair critics and the Trudeau haters out in force, with criticisms ranging from his failure to immediately go to the centre of the action, to refusing offers from Russia and other foreign countries to send help.

Some of this criticism on social media may be genuine, coming from people who simply don’t understand firefighting and assume the more water bombers in the air and firefighters on the ground the better. That’s fair, but much of it is coming from people who are trying to eploit the Fort Mac tragedy to take an unfair shot at Trudeau.

I realize that haters have to hate, and heaven knows I have no problem criticizing politicians, including Trudeau when warranted, but these cheap shots should be called out. And frankly, my hope with this blog is to embarrass those who are taking these unfair shots to think a little bit, maybe read some arguments of why Trudeau didn’t fly out to Fort Mac immediately or accept the help of other countries. Here’s a radical idea - maybe listen to the experts. I appreciate that is, in many cases, asking a lot of these people, but hope springs eternal.

All of which is an introduction to this blog I discovered by Alberta blogger Robbie Kreger-Smith entitled Trudeau Doesn’t Know What he’s Doing.

It's intelligent and well written, with some interesting insight into the nature of wildfires and how to battle them. And it deserves a read, so here it is:

I'm just going to come right out and say it. Justin Trudeau isn't a nano-computing specialist and he most certainly isn't a firefighter or wildfire specialist. When it comes to a major disaster like the wildfire facing Fort McMurray, he just doesn't have a clue what he's doing. 

And yet, in this, he is showing his ability to provide leadership. 

There is a process that is entrenched in our society when it comes to disaster management. In times of crisis, good well practiced processes lead to successful outcomes. So far in Fort McMurray, in a fire significantly larger than the 2011 Slave Lake fire where 30% of the town was destroyed, only 10% of the structures were lost in the city.

An unprecedented evacuation was carried out with as many as 90,000 evacuees fleeing the town with 2 casualties so far, in an MVA. While that loss of life is tragic, the scale of the evacuation is a raging success. 

I looked at the Public Safety Canada website and found this regarding disaster management;

Emergencies are managed first at the local level – for example, by first responders such as medical professionals and hospitals, fire departments, the police and municipalities. Local authorities who need assistance request it from provincial or territorial governments. If an emergency escalates beyond their capabilities, the province or territory may seek assistance from the federal government. Public Safety Canada led the development of the National Emergency Response System (NERS) with provincial and territorial officials, which was approved by Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers in January 2011. The NERS enables coordinated efforts in responding to emergencies. 

The Government Operations Centre (GOC) is the principal means by which the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness' leadership role in establishing an integrated approach to emergency response is exercised.  Housed at Public Safety Canada, the GOC, on behalf of the Government of Canada, supports response coordination of events affecting the national interest. It brings all partners into a common environment to harmonize and synchronize collective actions of those partners. The GOC operates 24/7 to provide watch, warning, analysis, planning, logistics support and coordination across the federal government and with its partners, including provincial and territorial governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and international partners.

Sounds like a pretty well thought out process. Every level of government signed onto it. And this is how the Fort McMurray fires have been managed, with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo taking lead until the fire had expanded beyond their capabilities.

So now today, my social media is flooded with complaints about Justin Trudeau not accepting help from Australia, Thailand and Russia to help extinguish the fire. What an incompetent fool. All of these countries lining up to help with the biggest fire in our nation's history basically and he's turning it away. Clearly he's demonstrating that he is not fit to lead. 

The thing about this fire is that it is so big and so hot that it is unique, almost unheard of in Canadian history. And as a result of that it is difficult to fight. In fact, nearly impossible. And as it has grown to cover more than 2000 sq. km, the approach to fighting this fire has evolved from one of fighting the fire, to containing and directing it away from critical infrastructure and populated areas. The Alberta Wildfire department has said that this is too big to be extinguished by humans, and the only way it's going to be put out is burning itself out, or significant periods of heavy rain. When bombers are attempting to drop water on the burning areas, it is evaporating before hitting the fires. Reports have said the fire is burning between 700 and 1000 degrees. 

Stephen Harper was mocked in 2015 for taking firefighters from an active firefight for a staged photo op in Kelowna, BC

Stephen Harper was mocked in 2015 for taking firefighters from an active firefight for a staged photo op in Kelowna, BC

And so in a situation where Trudeau isn't qualified or trained to make decisions, he is listening to the guidance of the people who are educated and do this for a living. The experts. He's in his offices, working on the logistics of what they need, not out getting in the way in Fort McMurray, or pulling resources away from where they're needed for the sake of a photo op. And he's letting the heroes that have prevented a devastating situation from becoming the end of Fort McMurray do their jobs. 

The Alberta department has stated that the airspace cannot safely support more air traffic than it already has. Bringing in more would create a risk, with potential for collisions.

Additionally, I don't think there's a person in their right mind that wants to open the door for Russian planes to be flying in our airspace, no matter the reason. 

So yes, Trudeau has no clue what he's doing. But he's relying on the advice and guidance of the people who do to make sure he makes good, informed decisions, doesn't overstep his bounds and Alberta gets what it needs in it's time of need. 

I've attached below some interesting reads on the firefight strategy, the lead up to the fire, and some quotables from the fire updates;

$1·       How Firefighters Are Trying To Tame The Blaze (The Globe & Mail)

$1·       Alberta Blaze Could Take Months To Extinguish (The Star)

$1·       Fort McMurray wildfire response now in ‘Phase 2’ (Global News)

If you've enjoyed Robbie's blog, here's a link to his site: You can follow him on social media, and "like" his Facebook page @ 

Thanks for reading. As always, shares including ReTweets are appreciated. 

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