Prime Minister Justin Trudeau already criticized about his late appearance visiting Fort McMurray, finally showed up on Friday and brought well wishes but no monetary aid nor did he offer any long term goal to get Ottawa involved in helping out.
Also Trudeau pushed his “green” infrastructure policies which he claims could be used to rebuild Fort McMurray.
He praised Albertans who’ve responded generously to help displaced evacuees and First Nations communities that welcomed fleeing Fort McMurray residents.
According to Paula Simons the Prime Minister offered no straightforward answers.
“The federal government has your back,” Trudeau said late Friday afternoon at a press conference at the provincial’s central operations centre in a west Edmonton industrial park. “Canada will be there for you.”
Even if people feel hopeless, he said, “know that you are not alone.”
But reporters who pressed for specifics saw Trudeau’s famous charm slip a bit, as he batted away the questions, with some asperity, as if they were a nuisance.
He wanted to tell a story about seeing a child’s scooter, still intact, but abandoned on the sidewalk, with burnt out houses all around it. He wanted to stress how wonderful it was that the child who had been playing with that scooter is somewhere safe, a survivor of the destruction all around.
He even mentioned that some of Canada’s new “green” infrastructure funding might be used for fire mitigation projects in northern communities such as Wood Buffalo.
But how much federal disaster relief will there be for Fort McMurray? How much federal infrastructure money might the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo hope to expect? Where might that money come from? When might it start to flow?
On Friday, at least, Trudeau offered neither answers nor hints.