11/18/2016 12:31 EST | Updated 11/19/2017 00:12 EST

Manitoba emergency communications system needs replacing: premier

WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says the province's emergency mobile communications system has reached the end of its service life and has failed at key times.

Pallister says the previous NDP government was warned as early as 2008 that the system, used by first responders and others, was aging and prone to failure.

He says people were put at risk when it went down in 2012 during a wildfire in the southeastern corner of the province.

Pallister says the NDP failed to address the problem, and replacing the system will cost about $400 million over three to four years.

The NDP rejects the accusation that it failed to act and says Pallister is manufacturing a crisis.

In a written statement, interim leader Flor Marcelino says the New Democrats begun planning and took concrete steps to start replacing the system.