Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 02, 2011 13:24 ET

Government of Canada Deploys Military for Emergency Assistance in Souris, Manitoba

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 2, 2011) - The Government of Canada is sending approximately 200 Canadian Forces personnel to the town of Souris, Manitoba today to assist provincial and municipal authorities in reinforcing flood control measures along the Souris River.

"This government's rapid deployment of Canadian Forces members to support the residents of Souris during this emergency is another example of how our men and women in uniform stand ready and willing to provide assistance to those in need," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "As with previous emergency operations conducted this Spring, our military is always ready to assist our fellow Canadians, here at home and abroad."

"A request for the deployment of Canadian Forces personnel is never taken lightly," said the Honourable Vic Toews, Canada's Minister for Public Safety. "However, where circumstances warrant --as they do today at Souris-- our government stands ready to protect people and property from the tragedy of flooding. Manitobans have been, and will remain, resilient in the face of this year's floods."

Canada Command's Joint Task Force West, headquartered in Edmonton, will be coordinating the Canadian Forces assistance effort and work closely with regional authorities to contain and control the flooding. As the Souris river is expected to crest in the next few days, the soldiers from 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI) and 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (1 RCHA), CFB Shilo, will place sandbags to reinforce the dikes over the affected area.

"This Spring, the men and women of the Canadian Forces have demonstrated time and again their responsiveness and flexibility in dealing with multiple domestic crises," said Lieutenant-General Walter Semianiw, Commander of Canada Command. "The Canadian Forces are standing by 24/7, and with minimal warning, are ready to help our fellow Canadians in distress anywhere in Canada."

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