The Commons Defence committee was advised parliament should contemplate the federalization of firefighting, especially after a year with record property losses.According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Alberta's deputy premier stated that there were not enough army volunteers.“As much as we love our armed forces, they have very basic training when it comes to firefighting and certainly by no means at the same level as a structural firefighter,” testified Deputy Premier Mike Ellis. Some 650 Canadian Armed Forces members were deployed to firefighting duties in Alberta this year.“The 2023 hazard season in Alberta was a complex series of disaster events which saw 50 communities impacted by wildfires resulting in approximately 38,000 Albertans being evacuated and over 2.1 million hectares burned,” said Ellis. “It was the first time in Alberta’s history that a state of emergency was called.”Provinces and territories promote 'mutual aid' by collaborating through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, which is a non-profit corporation established in 1982.“That actually is a very well-run agency,” said Ellis, adding more may be required.“We’ve embarked on a study to do lessons learned and make sure we are prepared, if unfortunately, we have something in the future,” said Ellis, adding Alberta “can see a role for the federal government to augment and support our provincial emergency management.” “Do you see a national entity like that being able to work with the provinces?” asked Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew-Nipissing, ON). “I think it is certainly worth exploring,” replied Ellis.“Making sure people are prepared is one thing,” said Ellis. “We called in the military as a last resort. They were wonderful and they did what they needed to do. However, all communities need to be prepared with emergency management.”Professor Mike Flannigan, British Columbia Innovation Research Chair in emergency management at Thompson Rivers University, testified parliament should create a federal agency “such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the United States” to manage wildfires. “You need an emergency management agency like FEMA,” he said. “Whether the Canadian Armed Forces fill that role or someone else, we need to build it. There is going to be more and more of these.”“We did not have enough resources when there were widespread extreme fire conditions, but these are the times when disasters strike.” “We need to explore new approaches.”The US agency was established in 1979 following a declaration by then-President Jimmy Carter in response to a man-made disaster, which was the poisoning of hundreds of homeowners at Love Canal, New York.The Niagara Falls subdivision was constructed on land that had previously been a toxic dump site owned by Hooker Chemical Company.