Or maybe I've been reading the wrong news sources and there's more to it? Cause it seems unreal.
Edit: Some sources:
Here's some comparisons to the numbers in the article you linked to:
700 firefighters, several choppers, 27 air tankers and 46 pieces of heavy equipment deployed to fight 500,000+ hectare wildfire that has destroyed 2000+ buildings.
In Australia, 2013:
2000 firefighters, 90 aircraft, 200 fire engines were deployed to fight a 118,000 hectares fire that cost ~US$50 million and destroyed 250 buildings
Many of the firefighters in Australia (and in the southern hemisphere) are idle at the moment as it's heading into winter. It's very weird that Canada turned down help when so much property is on the line.
Believe me, we didn't turn down help out of pride. We have a ton of experience dealing with these things. We know when a fire is fightable, and when it isn't.
If accepting American or Russian help would have helped save Canadian homes and businesses, we would have. The South Africans are here for diplomatic reasons more than anything, and they arrived long after the critical period when we were trying to protect property and lives.
This isn't the California wildfires. It's not threatening populated areas anymore. It's burning in a vast expanse of unpopulated subarctic forest. It's fine. The damage is done; now we wait for it to burn out while keeping an eye out for the next one.
So it's just a Trudeau-like "diversity" hire or something? Not to say that in a mean way, just that they are not the most qualified and have only received minimal training.
I suppose it wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't being praised as "South African government sees it as repaying a debt to the Canadian people for their support for the anti-apartheid struggle". Let's just call it an aid program and be done?
Are you implying that they're all black because they're from South Africa?
How do you know this? Because the actual firefighters wanted more planes. The prime minster, who knows nothing about fire fighting is the one who rejected the help. Note that this has been an especially dry, hot season with far more wildfires than usual. And despite this, the provincial government cancelled the deal that they had to get more planes. The firefighters were up in arms over this. And that's before the Fort Mac fire happened.
I hate this notion that wildlife and nature isn't important. Apparently only human lives and materialistic objects matter....
Just an example: http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/09/17/scientists-let-wil...
Did you know that the earth has a history of 400 million years without humans fighting wildfires? (No big plants before the Devonian period.)
Then it turned out that fires are actually beneficial to sequoias reproduction, because they create an environment that is better suited to giant sequoias than the other kinds of trees. So, protecting them from fire was actually damaging their future...
Russia has allot of experience with wildfires it has the largest and densest northern forests in the world combined with a permafrost that holds insane amount of methane and other carbohydrates.
Climate change and forest fires are huge national security issue to Russia and if they go out of control it can cause horrible damage to Russia and even then entire planet as it can cause a Permian extinction style event which happened before when the Siberian carbon traps went up in flames.
Russia has been dealing with huge wild fires every several years
They are one of the few countries that designs and builds dedicated firefighting aircraft designed to combat large forest fires.
And while they might be arseholes on the political scene otherwise every time there is a large scale fire they do extend their hand and come in with serious help.
Inviting a totally foreign country in which you're in a) fighting a proxy war with in yet another part of the world; and b) fighting a passive battle for northern sovereignty/control with seems like an incredibly stupid idea.
Canada has many forest fires on the go every year and are generally only worth fighting when they threaten communities. Forests are meant to burn. I have friends who work in emergency fire fighting in Saskatchewan and they have not been deployed to the Northern fires because it is not the problem the media is making it out to be!
Drought conditions and the heat traps that are cities prevent proper rainfall which stops them and changes we've made to the landscape can prevent burn outs which also make fires last longer.
And more importantly while forest fires are natural it doesn't mean it's good, we had at least one fire related extinction event, and even considerably smaller scale fires can be disastrous to humans so while it's true that to some extent the policy is let it burn in this case it's not longer really the case.
And while I would also agree that Canada is in a political muck with Russia it doesn't make sense to deny their help, Israel accepted Turkey's help to combat forest fire when their relationship was arguably at the lowest point shortly after the flotilla incident.
Governments should know when it's a good time to put a halt to their differences and emergencies are as good as an excuse as any.
With forests being natural carbon traps climate change is now just as important factor as threat to communities and livelihood with the amount of CO2 were putting into the atmosphere we might not be able to longer afford for forest fires to take their natural course if we actually want to start reversing some of the changes we've made.
This isn't some clear cut case, and in this case it seems that Canada does take help from certain countries but for some reason refrains taking it from others and in such cases politics should really be the last thing on your mind.
It's difficult to top the US in terms of foreign policy assholery though.
I never had this thought until now, but the things you eat are called carbohydrates whilst the things you burn are called hydrocarbons.
The fire presented a risk right at the beginning and seemed to spread into populated area's faster than could be responded to, once that risk was no longer present outside assistance was not required.
Turning down American help was strange though. I'd like an explanation for that..
Apart from Fort McMurray (which is now pretty safe) it's a mostly unpopulated area, and fire is a great natural renewal process in a boreal forest. Letting it burn for a while longer and just trying to keep guiding it away from anything valuable with minimal resources is a valid strategy.
Source - http://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=41701E7ECBE35-AD48-579...
It seems very weird that Russia and the US have nothing to contribute, but inexperienced folks from SA do.
From a forestry management perspective, you don't want the forest to live forever, and trying to prevent old, dead trees from burning is a nightmare. Let the fire burn, protect the property, and the forest will reseed itself during the fire.
But anecdotally Trudeau was worried about carbon footprints from a camp fire he once attended, but these wildfires don't bother him.
I've seen far too many (AFAICT) absolutely sincerely intended idiotic statements here. I mostly simply let them fly. xkcd 386 only gets you so far.
Adding a </s> tag to your comment helps.
They don't feel smart when they can't tell if you're being facetious or literal.
Eventually these trees will die and rot/burn anyway, but new ones will grow and recover near equivalent carbon. Trees just hold carbon temporarily.(Underground gas is another story though)
If you burn oil from deep underground, that carbon would never have escaped without human intervention.
I'm one of the lucky ones. My house is still standing, and there's no damage.
The house was there, and the stuff was there, but everything smelled of smoke (and would for years afterward). Some of her neighbors lost their homes, and a combination of the rebuilding challenges (dealing with insurance, contractors, budgets etc) resulted them in selling their houses and moving away. Some of her neighbors were living in 20 year old houses instead of over 50 year old houses (this was back in 2011). Her neighbors had much better wiring, stronger foundations, and built in home fire sprinkler systems. Things which improved their homes in a number of small but important ways.
She said it was the most surreal thing in her life in terms of how she "should" feel, how she "did" feel, and how she thought about and remembered the fire. In 2006 she had upgraded the insulation in the attic to make the house more energy efficient and removing all of the old insulation released a lot of smokey smells again which brought a lot of the scene, the craziness, back.
I've thought about that a lot since I talked with her. All through my life my parents and the government has spent time and money telling me to "prepare" for disaster and no money at all telling me how to live "after" disaster.
Something that helped her was that she began writing a journal in the days and weeks and months that followed the fire.
If this occurred in an urban/suburban environment, it would instantly cause the sort of "shrinking city" problem affecting places like Detroit—suddenly, your house might be the only house on its block, so the viability of delivering power, water, or mail to your lone house (or even keeping the roads maintained around you) would have to be reconsidered as a matter of urban planning. Your house might still be there, but if the city decides to redraw the city limits to exclude it, you may as well give it up as lost anyway—it doesn't have market value any more.
On the other hand, if this was a farm—probably then on unincorporated land—a very different set of considerations would be in play, since you (or a co-op you're a part of) would likely own an independent contract for the installation and maintenance of the entire run from the utility to you. On one hand, it would probably end up your responsibility to pay for any repairs to power poles/water mains/etc.—which might be a lot. On the other hand, knowing that, you'd probably have insurance for those "backhauls" for just such occasions. (A lot of farming is risk management of often-volatile commodities. There's a reason the CFTC—the US futures-market regulator—is under the Department of Agriculture.)
PS: <rant> Underfunded pensions are a huge issue that's often ignored until way to late. People need to sound the alarm at year one when the pension is not at 110% not year 30 when it's way to late. IMO, a company should not be able to have a dividend or stock buy back if their not over 100%. </rant>
It happened in Oakland, CA.
Glad to hear you're doing well.
Some of my neighbours weren't so lucky -- some have a lot of smoke in the house, so have to replace or clean some furniture and have walls cleaned.
Still, even that's nothing compared to completely losing a house.
I lost power for a total of 20 minutes through the whole thing. My video surveillance system kept running throughout the evacuation, and I could VPN into my house and check on things.
# Massive flooring of the Canadian dollar.
# Continued job losses months on end - Unemployment rate of 7.1% !
# Most expensive Natural Disaster in Canadian history.
At least they got their Obama.
Canada's unemployment rate of 7.1% is normal. 
0: The 80s were turbulent: http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/map-history-dollar/
1: There was a spike and collapse where you'd recently expect: http://www.profitconfidential.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12...
2: Historical unemployment data: http://well-being.esdc.gc.ca/misme-iowb/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.js...
There was only one period of history where we were this badly fucked. And that was when this idiot's father was PM and destroyed our economy. It took 3 decades to pay back the debt he created and have our dollar recover. And now it is happening again.
Neither of those statements are correct. Do leftists seriously just make up nonsense because they like the way it sounds?
2. The unemployment rate is marginally higher than in the USA. It's bad here, but it's bad over there too... the recession never ended.
3. That's true, and to be honest, I'm glad it's expensive. Expensive means there is something and/or someone there worth saving. I would argue the Halifax explosion was far more decimating, but cost significantly less to respond to, as everything and everyone was there one minute and gone the next.
Canada is and was doing fine. As much as my heart breaks for Fort McMurray, in a country this large, most of us are a world away (Ontario myself) and it has had little tangible impact on us beyond a marginal increase in gas prices.
No offense, but Trudeau is not 'our Obama.' Trudeau is the son of a former Prime Minister who is attempting to implement dramatic social reforms just as his father did. Despite the easy comparison of Democrats to Liberals and Conservatives to Republicans, when you actually look at their policies it's clear they do not reside at the same points on the political spectrum.
That's blatantly incorrect.
- The US unemployment rate is 9.7% on the U6. The Canadian equivalent would be closer to 13%-15%  (the Canadian R8 is not the equivalent of the U6). That's not a marginal difference, it's a significant difference. The US U6 rate peaked at near 18%, six years ago. A 50% reduction is a very obvious signal that the recession ended a long time ago. The U6 rate before the recession in 2006 was 9%. If the recession had never ended, the U6 rate would still be extremely elevated.
- The US has gained a massive number of full-time jobs since the recession. That metric is at a record high. [2a] [2b]
- Total US employment is six million higher than the peak before the recession.
- US manufacturing output is at all-time highs and has climbed dramatically since the recession . Total construction spending on manufacturing in the US is three to four times higher than it was in 2002-2006. None of that would be happening if the US were in recession.
- Real hourly earnings have been expanding since 2012-2013 . While simultaneously inflation has been tame by most measures. Hourly earnings are about 7% higher than 2006. If the recession hadn't ended, that would not be the case.
- Government tax revenue, which is highly dependent on income taxes, is at record highs.
- The labor force participation rate has been stable for three years, despite millions of boomers retiring.
- In terms of income vs debt, US households have dramatically de-leveraged from the debt highs leading up to the great recession, and are in far better shape than Canadian households [5a] [5b].
- US household median disposable incomes are among the highest on earth. That metric obviously would not be doing so well if the US had spent the last ten years in a recession. US GDP per capita is ranked #5 out of all nations, 25% higher than Canada - an excellent sign of high economic productivity. 
So US economic productivity is extremely high, US unemployment has fallen by 50% back to a historically healthy level, full-time employment is at record highs, wage growth has been outpacing inflation for years, household income to debt ratios have improved dramatically, household balance sheets have never been higher, manufacturing output is at record highs. Uh, so what's the problem exactly?
I should add current Canadian unemployment (as of March) is under 1% higher than the 2006 level as reported by StatsCan.
I think you can attribute the high level of Canadian household debt to the insane cost of real estate in urban Canada. Real estate prices have inflated dramatically.
You're right, I didn't use the word recession correctly. But I don't think anyone can reasonably argue Canada or the US are currently in boom time.
US GDP per capita may be higher than Canadian GDP per capita, sure, but US external debt is 114% of your GDP, versus 92% of Canada's.
I'm not an economist.
Calgary's downtown office towers have reached record high vacancy rates, with so many engineers laid off. I'm hoping this is an opportunity for tech companies to take notice and move in.
As far as I know, Alberta's provincial government hasn't prevented growth in other sectors. Natural resources have made a lot of sense, giving their abundance here. And despite the roller coaster ride of natural resources, the province's finances are some of the healthiest in the entire country:
- Lowest Debt-GDP ratio in the country (-1.2% for Alberta, compared with 39.6% in Ontario and 49.6% in Quebec)
- No Provincial Sales Tax
- 3rd highest spending per capita, next to SK and NL (30% higher than Ontario and 43% higher than Quebec)
- GDP/Capita almost double of every other province
And all of that doesn't include the transfer payments which go out to the Eastern Provinces.
All that to say, I do hope your right and the tech ccene is Alberta can grow from current vacancies and other problems in the province. I think the province could really benefit from some natural growth in other sectors.
Software engineerings in Calgary are lucky to make 70k canadian (54k usd), so the good ones just move the the USA or work remotely. I don't see Calgary becoming a booming tech scene anytime soon.
I have to disagree with that statement. As an example, here is a system admin job posting by City of Calgary. The pay range is $77,891 - 117,609 per annum
I think most intermediate / senior engineers can make 75k a year, but starting is very low, like 50k.
That's significantly less than I was making as a software engineer in Calgary. Maybe I was lucky, but I suspect your numbers are wrong.
That sounds low to me. Rates in Edmonton are considerably higher and I doubt Calgary skews that much lower.
Hand-wavy, since it varies by exact variety of software you're doing, but I'd say that was more than 20k+ below market for intermediate-senior exp. Still lower than the US, of course.
Economically? Sure. Socially? no way.
Compared to what?
Calgary is more conservative than Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, Vancouver, and Victoria.
Perhaps it's more liberal than Red Deer or Kelowna, but that's not saying much at all.
It's also just an awful place to live. The urban sprawl makes public transit pale in comparison even to Vancouver which also has really bad transit. It's an 80 dollar cab ride to the airport which is like an hour and a half from the downtown.
There's the Stampede, I guess, but frankly I've never found the culture in Calgary much to write home about either.
If you like pickup trucks and imported American culture, then sure, Calgary sounds great.
Calgary's CTrain has the third highest annual ridership among North America's light rail systems . The bus system is lagging behind, but the LRT system is being expanded. The airport is a 22 min drive from downtown under normal circumstances. There is traffic congestion during peak travel times, but absolutely nothing like in Toronto or Vancouver.
If all you know about Calgary's cultural scene is the Stampede, one has to wonder if you've even been to Calgary.
In short, thanks for slagging a city you clearly know nothing about.
I'm not from Toronto but the fact is that the barely-literate, anti-intellectual, suburban outlying population of places like (edit) Etobicoke elected Rob Ford.
edit: ah yes, the old reddit-style downvote because the truth hurts. The simple fact is the man was a train wreck, and his supporters are basically Tea Party North.
There's a bus from downtown to the airport. It takes 40 minutes and costs $3.15. Driving takes 20 minutes.
I still think Edmonton is cooler, and would never live in Calgary, cuz, well, I'm from Edmonton area... :-) But it seems a little less cowboy these days.
Still sprawly, though.
If Alberta were its own country—as a few of their conservative pundits have semi-jokingly called for—this would be the point where you'd start to see pleas for international relief aid on the news, like those from Indonesia after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Instead, the Canadian government is going to have to try to soak up all those losses on its own. I wonder if its treasury is even that big?
I keep mentioning this to my coworkers at Google. A second Canadian engineering office in Edmonton would be awesome. And then I could move closer to my family.
During the more heated oil years no one was looking for a job. And this might come as a surprise, but that actually makes it really hard to hire, even if you have competitive offers.
This might be different in other markets where job hopping is common and the overall supply of qualified hires is high (Edmonton often loses out to Calgary and Vancouver), but you don't see that as much here, unfortunately.
I have been thinking of moving to Canada due to all the good things I hear from my Canadian friends.
But I get conflicting view from the news and statistics.
If I may make a modest suggestion perhaps try visiting Canada for a period of time in a region where you would want to eventually live instead of relying on the opinions of your friends (who may be biased) or statistics (which may not tell the whole story.)
But yes, the pay sucks for coders outside of Vancouver and Toronto, and there the insane housing market makes it not worth it anyways.
Correction: Edmonton is the stronghold of the NDP. Premier Notley's seat in the Legislature is in Edmonton's Strathcona riding, and I believe before last year Edmonton was the only city to elect NDP MLA's. Calgary has always been a Progressive Conservative stronghold.
Unless you like cities and want to ever own a house, but don't worry about that.
I wouldn't get too hung up on that -- historically that's a fairly decent rate for Canada.
For a variety of reasons (difference in the way the rate is measured, and structural differences between the two countries) Canada's unemployment rate has generally been several points higher than the US since the late-70s.
At least one analysis I've seen of the structural differences pinned the higher rate on the fact that unemployed Canadians were more likely to be seeking to return to the workforce than US counterparts, inflating the number since they don't "drop out" of the workforce entirely.
edit: and the low dollar is a mixed bag. Higher basic good prices, but somewhat of a protective for middle-class manufacturing jobs.
Massive mining industry including potash, precious ore and diamonds.
Massive hydroelectric power system (Northeastern US guess where much of your power comes from).
Massive agriculture industry
Massive seafood industry
Massive forest industry
Add to that movies, music, manufacturing, cars, steel mills, shipbuilding ($26B ship contract near me), munitions and software industry. We used to have some pretty good hardware too remember Matrox and ATI video cards?
Oil and gas aren't the only things we produce but even so there is also a lot of it on the east coast.
What? Obama wasn't elected on the strength of nice hair and Daddy's legacy.
I'm from BC. Polls close and the victory is called before votes even results even really start coming in.
Out of 338 seats in our parliament, 231 are held in Ontario and points east.
Neither was our current PM. You're thinking the way the Conservative political strategists did. They ran their election against Trudeau Senior, not the current one.
2nd youngest PM ever, and the youngest is Joe Clark.
Still rather have Trudeau than harper, I just dislike electing people based on legacy.
Yeah I do. You've got a young, good-looking, charismatic leader with what look like progressive policies on things like drugs and other social issues who occasionally slips up with the etiquette like calling an MP a piece of shit on the floor of the Commons. It makes him look like a real guy, and less like a standard shitty politician, which is what the electorate are sick of. He's also a relative newcomer and time spent out of the limelight of either the PMO or the Official Opposition means he looks like a fresh change.
That's exactly the opposite of Harper and Mulcair, the former of whom comes off as stodgy, out-of-touch and kind of an asshole, and the latter of whom comes off as one of the most fake, manufactured politicians of the modern age.
I know which one I'd bet on every time.
Canada seems to be in so much trouble - I am wondering how things are there.
# They got their Obama.
The question that exist is, will his continued openness/transparency in governance keep alive the honeymoon period long enough to deliver on the large number of promises made in an unfriendly economy. You can promise the moon but economics will not let him deliver it.
Now, the land grows thick until fire comes to clean according to natures' idea of natural process.
I tree planted in BC/Alberta, the land grows so thick that they often have to fly you in helicopter to re-plant land that previous tree planters failed to plant correctly.
One reason for controlled burns was to create a funnel in a thick new growth area in order to funnel the herding animals for hunting purposes.
These controlled burns had successs in diminishing the risk of wild unstoppable fires.
2060 - year when rainforests disappear
2049 - year when oceans get empty
tech, solve that!
We detached this comment from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11833516 and marked it off-topic.
That said, I fail to identify the guideline that lead to this decision. Perhaps someone can enlighten me?
I'm also willing to justify my claim, if it seemed gratuitous to any.
EDIT: I'm unable to justify any of my claims. I'm unhappy about living in Canada, and I can't help but feel jealous of american people when being exposed to HN or mainstream media. I was wrong for claiming that OP's friends would lie to him. I was wrong for claiming that Canada is a third world country. I'm sorry.
If you are referring to undeveloped vs developed countries, Canada is 9, while USA is 8 in the HDI. Still considered developed. You are still wrong.
Anyone who thinks otherwise would think Manhattan as no different than Calcutta because they're too angry to notice the differences.
On HN we're trying for respectful, substantive discourse. We don't always get there, but it's clear that we can't have users putting down entire countries without things degenerating pretty quickly.
If you'd err on the side of editing out incivility from your future comments, we'd appreciate that too. It's something a lot of us have to work on (including me) and are learning together. I'd like to think the community is making slow progress in that direction.