Minister Valcourt announces agreement with Canadian Red Cross to deliver evacuation services for First Nation communities in Manitoba
WINNIPEG, April 1, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today announced the signing of a one-year agreement to deliver evacuation services for First Nations in Manitoba beginning April 1, 2015.
On November 19, 2013, the Government announced measures to strengthen emergency management on reserves. A new, comprehensive single-window approach to emergency financial arrangements will ensure prudent management of public funds and provide First Nations and provinces and territories with improved access to emergency funds when needed. The new approach includes over $19 million annually to negotiate new or renewed formal agreements with provinces and territories and to support emergency preparedness activities.
The Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba have not yet concluded a bilateral emergency management agreement. However, in anticipation of the upcoming flood season and in order to ensure that First Nations in Manitoba receive emergency management services, the Government of Canada has concluded a one-year agreement with the Canadian Red Cross (CRC).
The agreement will ensure that First Nations have support for any potential 2015 evacuations—covering evacuations from their communities to secure locations as well as food, shelter and related services—due to flood, fire and other circumstances.
In addition to the agreement with the CRC, Canada also continues to work toward an agreement with the Province of Manitoba to deliver emergency management services to First Nations.
- Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) will provide approximately $780,000 to CRC to provide evacuation services for First Nations in Manitoba for one year effective April 1, 2015.
- The CRC is contributing an additional $500,000 to train and deploy 250 volunteers to assist with First Nation evacuations.
- Discussions are currently underway between AANDC and provincial and territorial governments across Canada to provide First Nation communities with access to comparable emergency assistance available elsewhere in their province or territory.
- AANDC currently has an Emergency Management Agreement in place with the Province of Alberta.
"The health and safety of First Nation community members is a top priority for our government. I am pleased that the Canadian Red Cross has agreed to provide evacuation services for First Nations in Manitoba this year. We will continue to work toward an agreement with the province of Manitoba to provide emergency services for First Nations, as they deserve access to the same level of emergency management services available to their neighbors. To that end I raised the matter with Minister Robinson earlier this month and he committed to following up with officials."
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"The Canadian Red Cross has a long history of helping communities in Canada affected by emergencies and disaster. From individual house fires to widespread events that disrupt entire regions, highly trained Red Cross volunteers stand ready to assist in times of need. On behalf of the Government of Canada, in Manitoba, the Red Cross has already worked closely with 15 flood-affected First Nation communities, providing assistance to nearly 2,500 evacuees impacted by previous disasters. We will continue to work with those communities in their recovery efforts and be beside them, and other First Nation communities in Manitoba, to assist with needs right from the beginning of any future emergencies or disasters."
Secretary General and CEO, Canadian Red Cross
AANDC - Emergency Management
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SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information: Emily Hillstrom, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160