Office of the Official Opposition 

Liberal Failure to Manage Water Bomber Fleet a Disgrace: Forsey


For Immediate Release

(June 19, 2024 St. John's, N.L.) – PC Shadow Minister for Forestry and Agriculture, Pleaman Forsey (MHA, Exploits), is again calling out the Furey Liberals for the continued failure to fix or replace the province's fifth water bomber, which was damaged and has been out of service since 2018.


Forsey was responding to news that the Furey Liberals are apparently committed to finally fixing the province's fifth water bomber.


"This is an embarrassment to the Furey Liberals. For six years, the Furey Liberals have flip-flopped from selling the damaged water bomber to fixing it," said Forsey. "In the meantime, the brave men and women on the front lines of forest protection lack critical tools. We have 4 of 7 forest fires in Labrador out of control, and an unprecedented extreme heat wave is setting up on the island for the next few days. These are ideal conditions for a major forest fire event."


"Just last year, in May 2023, the Minister said they weren't sure they would fix the 5th water bomber. A month later, he said they were. In May 2024, Minister Abbott said no decision had been made to fix the 5th water bomber. Yesterday, both he and Premier Furey were saying it would be repaired. If this were not such a serious issue, the Liberals flip-flopping would be comical."


Forsey noted that Central Newfoundland was in a state of emergency due to forest fires in 2022, yet the Furey Liberals have failed to deal with the damaged water bomber since that time.


"Our fifth water bomber has been rotting away for six years while the Furey Liberals continue to flip-flop and change their minds. Meanwhile, the Liberal government issued a Request for Qualifications in February 2023 to finally repair the damaged water bomber yet, it still sits unrepaired and not in service.”