Wildfires are ravaging our forests, forcing communities to evacuate, and smoke is choking our cities. And yet the Ford government cut 67% of funding to wildfire management programs and refuses to pay forest fire workers a fair wage.
It’s time for Premier Ford to stop gambling with our safety and support Ontario’s forest fire workers.
Send a message to your MPP, the Premier and the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. If thousands of us take action, we can put pressure on the provincial government to hire more crews, pay fair wages and treat workers with respect.
Ontario’s forest fire workers keep us and our communities safe – but because of poor wages and short seasonal contracts, the short-staffing crisis is getting much worse. Like so many sectors across the Ontario Public Service, wages are behind and legislated wage cuts have made the crisis worse. This means there are simply not enough crews to put out smaller fires before they become uncontrollable. Lives and livelihoods are on the line.
Already, 427 wildfires have burned over 380,000 hectares – that’s a massive jump compared to last year. And the season is far from over.
Instead of fixing the crisis at home, the Ford government is paying premium prices – with our public money – to bring in firefighters from around the world. While all the help is appreciated, it’s just a band-aid solution after years of cutting and dismantling our public services.
With experts projecting record-breaking heat in the years ahead, it’s well past time to fix the crisis, by investing in our Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services – including off-season fire mitigation programs – before it’s too late.
Take action now to demand the Ford government keep our communities and workers safe.