Mr. Speaker, on September 11, a grass fire started on Canadian Forces Base Suffield. The fire jumped the fireguard and spread to ranchers' fields, losing nearly 90,000 acres. One hundred and sixty cattle died. Farms were evacuated. One farm site was destroyed, and undetermined miles of fence and infrastructure are burnt. An 89-year-old man has been left homeless. Winter feeding pastures have been lost and will take years to replenish. Residents had to leave their homes in the middle of the night, and everyone tirelessly fought this fire.
Fires coming from CFB Suffield are common, as they explode ordinances and carry out their exercises. There remain many unanswered questions about this fire. Why did the base cause a fire when southern Alberta was under a fire ban? Why was the base's emergency response so inadequate?
I thank the Minister of National Defence for meeting with me to hear my constituents' concerns. We hope that progress will be made quickly with the internal review and that the local community will be kept advised as to the process and the results.