The NDP opposition says the government is downloading forest fire fighting costs onto the backs of cash strapped northern municipalities.

During question period in the legislature this afternoon, Saskatoon MLA Cathy Sproule accused the Saskatchewan Party of making rural municipalities responsible for the costs of fighting forest fires in their areas under the new wildfire act.

“Municipalities and their local volunteer firefighters could be left fighting fires with limited resources and equipment, potentially bankrupting the RM,” she says.

Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff says the government is not forcing rural municipalities to do anything but working with them and some recovery of provincial forest fire fighting costs is only prudent.

“Cost recovery is a responsible way to administer fire fighting in the north and across Saskatchewan,” he says.

The environment minister adds the NDP practiced a very similar policy when it was in government.