Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

July 20, 2011 16:51 ET

Minister Duncan and Parliamentary Secretary Rickford Issue Statement Regarding the Evacuation of First Nation Communities in Ontario Due to Forest Fires

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 20, 2011) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, and Greg Rickford, Member of Parliament for Kenora and Parliamentary Secretary to Minister Duncan, today issued the following statement concerning the evacuation of several First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario:

"Our government is committed to the health and safety of First Nation communities. We are closely monitoring the emergency fire situation in Northwestern Ontario and remain in constant contact with affected First Nations, Emergency Management Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and other ministries and agencies, as they lead the coordinated efforts needed to ensure the safety of all residents. On July 17, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, directed the Canadian Forces to deploy aircraft to assist the Province of Ontario with the evacuation. The priority of all partners is to ensure that community members are evacuated quickly and safely. We would like to thank all the host communities for their vital assistance in supporting evacuees during this moment of need.

Parliamentary Secretary, along with Tony Clement, Minister FedNor and MP for Parry Sound–Muskoka, were in Dryden today to meet with members of communities affected by wildfires.

We encourage any other Ontario communities interested in supporting these First Nations in need to please contact Emergency Management Ontario at (416) 326-9195.

We will continue to monitor the current emergency situation as it evolves. The collaboration of all parties, under the direction of Emergency Management Ontario, will ensure that evacuations happen as quickly as possible so that the safety and well-being of individuals remains a priority until they can return home."

This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michelle Yao
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    (819) 997-0002

    Media Relations
    Affairs and Northern Development Canada
    (819) 953-1160