Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the Shelter Cove wildfire site with (from left) the provincial minister in charge of forests Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson

PM visits Shelter Cove wildfire area

Stephen Harper joined by Premier Christy Clark to acknowledge the efforts of firefighters.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper acknowledged today that global warming could be playing a role in the wrath of forest fires currrently burning across Western Canada this summer, particularly in B.C. and Saskatchewan.

Harper made a stop at the command centre on Westside Road for the Shelter Cove wildfire this afternoon to thank the firefighters for their efforts, something he plans to also do when he travels tomorrow to Saskatchewan.

In talking briefly  about global warming, Harper also noted that his government is the first to establish gas emissions standards, but that further solutions to changing environment issues and finding solutions will carry on in discussions with other countries in the coming months.

In December 2014,  the federal government released its annual report on this country’s contribution to global climate change, demonstrating anew that we are nowhere near meeting the targets this government committed to for 2020, which has led to criticism that Harper’s government is not doing enough to deal with climate change.

Adding fuel to that is Harper’s refusal to add any further regulations to the oil and gas industry unless it is carried out on a continental basis given the integrated nature of the industry, particularly in North America.

“With the current conditions in the oil and gas sector, this government will not consider unilateral regulation of that sector,” Harper told MacLean’s magazine in an interview last December. .

Harper added that he told the premiers he will have to sit down with them in the near future and find efficient ways to deal with fire season scenarios such what is occurring this summer.

Clark extended her appreciation for Harper’s visit, thanking him for showing a supportive federal government “is behind us” in the firefighting efforts for what is expected to be one of the worst fire seasons in B.C.’s history.