HomePoliticsDavid Eby accuses John Rustad of encouraging residents to defy evacuation orders

David Eby accuses John Rustad of encouraging residents to defy evacuation orders

On Wednesday August 23, 2023 Premier David Eby was on a live interview with CBC taking questions about wildfires burning in the province.

Responding to a question about the criticism his government has received from residents in wildfire affected areas and that they feel abandoned by the government he said BC Wildfire Services is now contacting people in the local areas looking for skilled volunteers and ways to integrate them into their teams.

BC NDP Premier David Eby accused the BC Conservative leader John Rustad and MLA for Nechako Lakes of telling residents to defy evacuation orders.

“There are politicians. There’s the leader of the conservative party John Rustad is saying that people should stay behind. Defy evacuation orders and defend their homes. Like I couldn’t disagree more”

“British Columbians Protecting Their Homes From Fires Should Not Ne Treated Like Criminals”

Yesterday, August 22, 2023 John Rustad posted a video on social media from his home and riding Nechako Lakes to thank firefighters for the job they’re doing battling the blaze.

Rustad said the government should quit fighting community members and work with them to help fight fires and protect property.

“I strongly encourage people to obey evacuation orders” Rustad said while he empathized with the people that decided to stay behind saying all British Columbians have the right to defend their communities and property.

Rustad goes on to blast the BC government with being unprepared while knowing three days in advance there was a possible wind event that would inflame the wildfire and make it grow much larger.

Rustad shut down the simple excuse of blaming “climate change” for the wildfires rapid growth and talked about poor government policy. He said for the last 70 years government, with bad forest management practices has created conditions for intense wildfires by building up fuel loads and running fire exclusion operations removing natural fires from the landscape of British Columbia.

“We need to think different about how we manage our forests. Making sure that we do what we can to build natural breaks” clean up brush, do selective logging Rustad said. He suggests the government should be sending crews into areas wildfires burned as quick as possible when safe to start clean up and planting new vegetation and trees to help with soil stability and prevent erosion.

Today Rustad posted a message on facebook again encouraging people to evacuate as the safest measure.

“I strongly encourage everyone who is able to do so, to evacuate to safety. It’s the safest choice.”

“The reality is, there is a wealth of practical firefighting knowledge in rural communities.”

Rustad expressed the same comments from yesterday that government should be working with the community to fight the fires.

“We have to trust people to do what’s right — BC’s government shouldn’t be treating these citizens like criminals. Especially when they’re using common sense and helping to successfully fight back fires.

“Government shouldn’t be trying to force British Columbians into compliance. We have to trust experienced everyday people to have common sense and make the decision that’s best for them.”

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Jordan is a casual reporter for BC Rise


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