OTTAWA, July 20, 2017 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada recognizes the hardship Canadians have encountered due to the recent wildfires in British Columbia (BC) and is committed to supporting them through these difficult times.
To help the many affected communities, the Ad Hoc Cabinet Committee on Federal Recovery Efforts for 2017 BC Wildfires met today to discuss Canada's role in supporting these efforts. As a first step, Minister Carla Qualtrough, Chair of the Committee, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale, and Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan will visit Prince George and Kamloops to witness how government agencies, non-government organizations, first responders and the community are working together to support those in need and determine how the federal government can provide greater assistance.
This visit and the forward planning being led by the Committee are in addition to the ongoing support the federal government is providing to help affected communities impacted by the wildfires. These emergency measures include on the ground support from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), as well as support from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Canada Post and other departments and agencies.
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) figure prominently in the federal assistance being provided and announced today that they were sending approximately 225 additional members to British Columbia to assist in the ongoing emergency response to the wildfires. This follows an additional Request for Federal Assistance from the RCMP. These personnel are joining approximately 150 CAF members who are already in British Columbia assisting the province in its emergency response to the wildfires. This will bring the total CAF contribution to approximately 375 personnel.
Canadians wishing to assist those affected by the disaster can donate to registered charities. Consult the CRA Charities Listings to find eligible organizations.
"Today, the Ad Hoc Cabinet Committee on Federal Recovery Efforts for 2017 BC Wildfires met to discuss how the Government of Canada can help those affected by the wildfires in British Columbia. We will be visiting several evacuation sites to see what assistance families are receiving on the ground. We continue to work closely with our provincial and municipal partners to make sure we are providing a coordinated response and to determine what more action the federal government can take."
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Committee Chair
"The Government Operations Centre is working diligently to ensure that support from across the Government of Canada is delivered to our provincial counterparts as quickly and efficiently as possible. From deployments of Canadian Armed Forces to providing cots and blankets from National Emergency Stockpile, we are committed to providing a coordinated federal response to the people of British Columbia. We continue to monitor and assess the wildfire situation, and our federal response will evolve as the situation unfolds."
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety
"The Canadian Armed Forces are always ready to support Canadians wherever and whenever disaster strikes. I am extremely proud of the women and men in uniform who are working hand-in-hand with first responders and local partners to provide assistance to British Columbians in their time of need."
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
For further information: Scott Bardsley, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 613-998-5681; Media Relations, Public Safety Canada, (613) 991-0657