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Brian Jean calling for judge-led public inquiry into the wildfire

Last Updated Jun 2, 2017 at 6:02 am MDT

Alberta Wildrose leader Brian Jean walks through the crowd after being declared the official opposition in Fort McMurray, Alta., on Tuesday May 5, 2015. Alberta's Wildrose Opposition leader has opened the door to uniting with the Progressive Conservatives to end more than a decade of infighting between the centre-right parties. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says two independent reports into the devastating Fort McMurray wildfire are almost finished.

Notley has told the legislature that the reports are, in her words, imminent.

The Opposition Wildrose party is calling for a judge-led public inquiry into the fire, which forced out more than 80,000 people a year ago and damaged or destroyed thousands of structures.

Notley says it makes no sense to call for an inquiry at least until Albertans can assess the findings of the two reports.

Brian Jean says a public inquiry would ensure nothing is held back and it would create an additional level of accountability while separating ministry officials.

“The Fort McMurray wildfire was the largest natural disaster in our province’s history. We owe it to the residents of Fort McMurray and all Albertans to understand how this fire grew so quickly out of control and how to best prevent another disaster like it in the future,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “I made a promise to the residents of Fort McMurray that I would be with them every step of the way as we re-build, and it’s my hope that the NDP government will recognize the need for an inquiry given the magnitude of this disaster.”¬†

The public inquiry would include:

  • Preventative measures including FireSmart and building codes leading up to the fire
  • Air Tanker availability and response
  • Fire line contracts
  • The initial response to the wildfire
  • Evacuation procedures

 

He also says he has first-hand information about negligence during the response but adds he won’t reveal it for fear of compromising any inquiry.