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Water bomber capacity needs action, not dismissed concerns: Forsey
MHA Pleaman Forsey is adding his voice to concerns expressed by NAPE about water bomber pilot shortages in the province.
Friday, June 9, 2023

(June 9, 2023, St. John’s) – Pleaman Forsey, PC Official Opposition Shadow Minister Responsible for Forestry and Agriculture and MHA for Exploits is adding his voice to concerns expressed by NAPE about water bomber pilot shortages in the province.

“NAPE has reaffirmed the concerns raised by the PC Official Opposition on our water bomber capacity. We don’t have adequate water bomber capacity. Unfortunately, the Minister seems to be in denial or oblivious to the reality of the situation,” said Forsey.

Forsey is reacting to comments made by NAPE President Jerry Earle in media saying government used to have six water bombers and 18 pilots, yet now only has seven pilots which can only staff three planes.

“We saw the devastating forest fires in Central Newfoundland last summer which caused a state of emergency. We have already had a record 72 forest fires in the province this year. You only need to turn on the news to see fires raging across the country which is impacting all of North America,” said Forsey.

“The Furey Government has had a damaged fifth water bomber rotting away in a hanger since 2018. We don’t have enough pilots to get our existing fleet off the ground. This is completely unacceptable.”

Forsey noted Access to Information documents last year confirmed staffing shortages, including pilots and aircraft mechanics which caused water bombers to be “not available.”

“Our fifth water bomber has been rusting for five years while the government continues to sit on their hands. Emergency preparedness means being ready for the unexpected. We need more capacity, not rusting equipment. That responsibility lays at the feet of the Furey Government.”




David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984


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