Justin Trudeau shouldn't make 'glad-handing' picture mission to Fort McMurray, resident says

The former Ottawan who fled the fire in Fort McMurray with his wife and days-old baby says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shouldn't bother with his visit to the northern Alberta city unless he plans to roll up his sleeves and help rebuild.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau scheduled to visit fire-torn city today

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be visiting Fort McMurray, Alta., today, more than a week after a large wildfire swept into the area and burned hundreds of homes. One resident of the city says it would be better for Trudeau to visit the city once they've had a chance to rebuild. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

The former Ottawan who fled the fire in Fort McMurray with his wife and days-old baby says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shouldn't bother with his visit to the northern Alberta city unless he plans to get his hands dirty.

"A friend said it best to me: unless he's going to roll up his sleeves and get dirty and help rebuild our home, then I don't see the point in why he's going. ... If it's a glad-handing, 'Hi, I was here, take a picture of me' mission, he doesn't need to go," said Jason Blair, who works as a real-estate agent in Fort McMurray, on CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning on Friday.

"Save the money. Don't make the trip. Come back when we're full of life, come back after we've rebuilt it, and come and see what our community is like. Support us. Show us something. I'd much rather him support the little community that is an economic stimulant across this country."

Blair first spoke to CBC just hours after he had fled Fort McMurray with his family. They're now staying near Calgary.

Their home was spared in the blaze, but Blair's reaction to the news his home had been saved was mixed on Friday.

Jason Blair managed to flee Fort McMurray on Tuesday with his wife and young son, pictured above, as well as their two-week-old daughter. (Facebook)

"[I'm] happy it's still there, but it's hard to rejoice when you know you have personal friends that have lost theirs. So it's hard to jump up and down and be extremely excited that yours is still standing," he said.

His family and others are anxious to return.

"[I would return] at the drop of a hat. I'd hit the road now if they told me I could go home tomorrow, and I'd wait outside the city limits. I can't wait to get home," Blair said.

"Everybody that I talk to, we just want to go home. Just let us go back home."