OTTAWA — Canada's Auditor General say the federal government has not given First Nations communities the support they need to respond to emergencies like wildfires and floods, despite warning about this almost a decade ago.
Karen Hogan has released an audit of Indigenous Services Canada's handling of emergency management, which found that not much has changed since a 2013 audit.
It says there have been more than 1,300 emergencies in First Nations communities over the past decade, resulting in more than 130,000 people being forced to leave their homes and traditional lands.
The audit says Indigenous Services is too reactive when it comes to managing emergencies, instead of taking preventive steps to mitigate damages when floods, fires and landslides strike.
The department is spending three-and-a-half times more money helping First Nations recover from disasters, than it is on helping them prepare.
Hogan also says the federal government hasn't yet compiled a list of which communities are the least equipped to handle disasters.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2022.
The Canadian Press