To the editor:
I’m writing in response to John McKay’s Feb. 6 letter, headlined Charging municipalities for disaster relief deplorable.”
I would like everyone to know that when it comes to natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes and wildfires, Canadians can rely upon our hard-working men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces for help when it’s needed most.
While our Conservative government will always stand up for the safety of Canadians and their families, what we will not do is force local municipalities to pay for emergency services in the event of a natural disaster.
Despite media speculation, National Defence Minister Peter MacKay has confirmed there has been no change in policy regarding cost recovery in these types of situations. Yet, in an effort to always take the management of public funds seriously, we will consider cost recovery from other federal departments only (such as Public Safety, for example), when they request that [the Department of National Defence] provide assistance to a province or municipality. These will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Canadians can rest assured that the Canadian Armed Forces has always been, and always will be, ready and able to assist at all times.