Danielle Smith, Rachel Notley meet to discuss wildfire situation
Posted May 7, 2023 9:50 am.
Last Updated May 8, 2023 11:40 am.
Danielle Smith and Rachel Notley, the leaders of Alberta’s two main parties, met Sunday to discuss the province’s wildfire response.
Alberta declared a provincial state of emergency Saturday due to the ongoing wildfire situation.
More than 29,000 Albertans have been evacuated from their homes. There were 109 active wildfires in the province as of Sunday morning.
“This morning, I met with the leader of the Official Opposition to share experiences of how to support Albertans during these wildfires,” Smith tweeted.
“I will continue to keep her informed of the wildfire situation across Alberta and the active Provincial State of Emergency.
“At times like these, Albertans expect all their elected leaders to work together to help our people.”
Notley was premier during the May 2016 wildfires that forced tens of thousands of people from Fort McMurray, Alta., and levelled many parts of the city.
“I met briefly this morning with Danielle Smith and offered my insights and experience from the 2016 Fort McMurray fire,” Notley tweeted.
This morning, I met with the leader of the Official Opposition to share experiences of how to support Albertans during these wildfires.
I will continue to keep her informed of the wildfire situation across Alberta and the active Provincial State of Emergency.
At times like… pic.twitter.com/9A2YAnUwKY
— Danielle Smith (@ABDanielleSmith) May 7, 2023
I met briefly this morning with Danielle Smith and offered my insights and experience from the 2016 Fort McMurray fire.
If you are impacted by the wildfires and need support, I encourage you to call the Wildfire Resource Line at 310-4455. pic.twitter.com/gz88sk6CRG
— Rachel Notley (@RachelNotley) May 7, 2023
Smith said the government is ensuring the leader of the Opposition receives information as the fire situation continues to unfold.
“It’s very rare that you have a former premier running in a campaign. It’s even more rare that that former premier has experience with this kind of public emergency,” said Notley.
“There is an opportunity for us to depoliticize this and to work together on doing everything we can to focus on public safety, ensure the resources are corralled appropriately to the people who need it and make sure it’s not an election issue. And one way to do that is to bring people together.”
NDP Rachel Notley says she is willing to work with Premier Smith and the Emergency Cabinet Committee and share her experience from previous emergencies. pic.twitter.com/mbBZPPsa9M
— Courtney Theriault (@cspotweet) May 6, 2023
MORE ON ALBERTA WILDFIRES:
- More than 100 active wildfires burn across Alberta
- Strathcona County lifts evacuation order
- Alberta NDP, 2 UCP candidates suspend campaigns in areas impacted by wildfires
- Evacuation issued for Edson as wildfire burns out of control
Alberta is currently in the middle of an election campaign, with the vote scheduled for May 29.
Smith says she has spoken with Elections Alberta for advice and, if it’s required by the end of the month, accommodations for voting could be made for affected areas.
“As of now, people should be anticipating that election day will go ahead as planned on May 29,” Smith said.
WATCH: ‘Unprecedented’ start to Alberta’s wildfire season
Notley said it’s too soon to say whether the election should be delayed. NDP candidates in six constituencies affected by evacuation orders suspended their campaigns Saturday.
Smith said two UCP candidates also stepped away from campaigning.