Western Premiers began their annual meeting in Vancouver with an expression of support for Fort McMurray and other affected northern communities. Premiers praised the courage and dedication of local citizens and emergency responders in this challenging time of crisis and loss, and expressed appreciation for the generous spirit demonstrated by surrounding communities and the many Canadians who have donated time, money, and energy to help people displaced by the fire.
Alberta expressed its appreciation for the support pouring in from across Canada. The resources and timely assistance provided by the federal, provincial and territorial governments will provide welcome relief to exhausted Albertans on the front lines.
Air Canada offering Evacuation Charters:
Air Canada has announced it’s offering evacuation charters on its Jazz airline. As of May 6, it will have flown 16 evacuation flights. Normal flights continue into Fort McMurray, but the schedule is subject to change based on weather, and safety considerations. They are waiving re-booking fees.
Fundraising tips and opportunities:
The major tip in this Macleans piece is to “give cash.” Donate to the Red Cross, or another registered charity. However if you want to give actual goods there is a Facebook group set-up for this. Individual monetary donations are being matched by the federal government until May 31. Those donations will also be matched by the government of Alberta.
Fundraising benefit concerts so far are being organized May 15, 2016 in Sydney Nova Scotia. This one to feature the Barra MacNeils. The second is being organized by Alan Doyle in St. John’s Newfoundland on May 20, 2016. No lineup has been officially announced.