EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - June 17, 2016) -
The governments of Canada and Alberta have been working to support and bring relief to the people of Fort McMurray and all those impacted by the devastating wildfires in Northern Alberta. Both governments will continue to stand with the community as the focus shifts to recovery and rebuilding efforts.
In keeping with this commitment, the governments of Canada and Alberta today announced the following three measures:
- The Government of Canada will provide an advance payment of approximately 300 million dollars to Alberta through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) program in early July. This interim funding payment, which is based on a preliminary audit review of the damage caused by the wildfires, will be the fastest payment ever provided through the DFAA. The DFAA is a program administered by Public Safety Canada that provides cost-shared financial assistance to provinces and territories, in the event of a large scale disaster which generates costs that are above what they could reasonably be expected to bear on their own. As discussed at the recent Federal Provincial Territorial Ministers meeting on Emergency Management, Ministers agreed to review the DFAA to foster a fiscally sustainable approach to disaster recovery in Canada.
- The governments of Canada and Alberta will deliver on their commitments to match donations made by individuals to the Canadian Red Cross between May 3 and May 31, 2016, in support of the Fort McMurray relief effort. The Government of Canada will match donations made by individuals within Canada for a total of over 90 million dollars, and the Government of Alberta will match donations made by individuals within the province for a total of over 30 million dollars. Both orders of government are working closely with the Canadian Red Cross to determine how the matched funds can be used most effectively to support relief efforts in the impacted communities.
- Both orders of government will implement the Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy that was renewed by federal, provincial and territorial forestry ministers at their meeting in Dawson last week, and strengthen fire prevention programs such as FireSmart. These measures will help mitigate the impact of climate change and better protect communities in the boreal forest.
These announcements were made following a meeting between federal and provincial ministers tasked with coordinating recovery from the Northern Alberta wildfires. The Ministers had a productive meeting during which they reviewed the response and ongoing recovery work in northern Alberta, and discussed next steps to mitigate the risk and impact of future wildfire disasters.
Both orders of government also recognized the need to support improved emergency coordination infrastructure, like the Provincial Operations Centre, and to ensure the timely and effective response to disasters, and discussed continued support to residents and businesses in Fort McMurray to facilitate their recovery.
"Thousands of Canadians in Fort McMurray and in surrounding areas have been severely impacted by the wildfires that continue to affect Northern Alberta. Both governments have been working together since the evacuation and will continue to support the individuals and businesses affected and displaced by the wildfires as they return home to repair and rebuild their communities."
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Northern Alberta Wildfires
"The Government of Canada is moving quickly to make federal funds available for Alberta to alleviate the financial burden of recovery from the northern wildfires. We will continue to work closely with the Government of Alberta, providing support in their recovery, and helping them to build a more resilient community."
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
"Alberta appreciates the support of our federal government and all Canadians as we continue to deal with a difficult situation. Much work remains ahead in the recovery of Fort McMurray. An even greater challenge is mitigating the risk of similar disasters in the future. We look forward to working with the federal government and other partners across Canada to make this happen."
Minister Danielle Larivee, Vice-Chair of Alberta's Wood Buffalo Ministerial Recovery Task Force and Minister of Municipal Affairs
Alberta Wildfires - Government of Canada
Alberta Wildfires - Government of Alberta