OTTAWA — Canada’s auditor general says the federal government cannot blame its failure to improve First Nations emergency management on a lack of outreach from the communities themselves.
Karen Hogan says that “in the true spirit of reconciliation,” Ottawa cannot say it is waiting for First Nations to present their needs and should instead be actively reviewing the “concrete actions” it can take.
Hogan made the comment at a parliamentary committee that is probing her office’s latest report on the federal government’s performance helping Indigenous communities prepare for natural disasters.
Hogan began her testimony by outlining how she is the third auditor general to flag concerns about the federal approach to the issue, which her report concludes is more reactive than proactive.
Her recent report says the government has yet to identify which of the hundreds of First Nations across the country are the least equipped to handle natural disasters.
It says she flagged the same issue back in 2013 but the government has not moved to correct it.