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Barnes, Pedersen call out PC mismanagement of 2010, 2013 flood responses in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, AB (September 6, 2013): The KPMG report released yesterday has exposed critical gaps in the province's emergency response capacity and stunning incompetence in delivering the Disaster Relief Program, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

 Completed in May of 2012, the PC government withheld the report - which evaluated the province's response to the 2010 Medicine Hat floods - until yesterday. The excessive 15-month delay held up important recommendations that could have improved the response to the 2013 flood, Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes said. “First the PCs sat on the 2006 flood report for six years and delayed vital flood mitigation recommendations that would have eased some of the hardship caused this year,” Barnes said. “The 15-month delay of the 2010 KPMG report continues this pattern of behaviour and shows the PC government's unwillingness to improve disaster response.” The report also noted the government failed to provide measures to evaluate the work of contract service providers. This lack of protocol for evaluating performance has held up the government’s ability to assess its contract with Landlink Consulting in Medicine Hat, Barnes said. The KPMG report found leading practices were not met 40 per cent of the time, and were only fully met 18 per cent of the time (p. 42). In assessing standard requirements, the report found “a lack of commitment to establishing a governance system around the DRP,” to ensure the roles responsibilities and competencies of all parties involved are clear (p. 76). In assessing the government’s efforts, the report stated that government showed low effort in 11 key areas, often when the benefit would have been great and achieved with little effort, Medicine Hat MLA Blake Pedersen said. “The PC government has failed to get its priorities straight. We would have been better prepared for the 2013 flood and it would have caused much less physical, financial and emotional damage had the 2010 KPMG and the 2006 Groeneveld reports been released sooner,” Pedersen said. “Now the government is blaming the 2013 flood for its inability to act on the 2010 flood recommendations. The residents of Medicine Hat are fed up with this government continually trying to pass the buck.”