Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

July 28, 2011 16:00 ET

Minister Duncan Visits With Members of Kingfisher Lake First Nation at Ottawa Evacuation Centre

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 28, 2011) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, visited Algonquin College in Ottawa today to meet with members of the Kingfisher Lake First Nation who had been evacuated due to the forest fires in Northwestern Ontario.

Minister Duncan also took the occasion to thank representatives from the City of Ottawa, Algonquin College, local Aboriginal organizations, and the many volunteers who have provided support to the Kingfisher Lake First Nation community members during this difficult time.

"I recognize that this has been a difficult period for the members of Kingfisher Lake First Nation, as well as all the other communities that have been affected by these fires," said Minister Duncan. "I would like to reassure the members of these communities that my officials will continue to work diligently to support them in their safe return."

The Minister also thanked the Canadian Forces for their efforts in support of the evacuation. He noted that the professionalism of the Canadian Forces has been evident in their work to assist the province in quick and efficient evacuations of communities in danger.

The Government of Canada has been working closely with its partners to support those affected by the forest fires. The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) and Member of Parliament for Parry Sound-Muskoka, and Greg Rickford, Member of Parliament for Kenora and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, were in Dryden last week to meet members of communities affected by wildfires.

"I would like to thank the host communities, local organizations and individual volunteers who have provided support to the more than 3,000 individuals who were evacuated as a result of the forest fires," said Parliamentary Secretary Greg Rickford. "Their generosity and efforts have provided much needed support to the evacuees during this moment of need."

In the coming weeks, AANDC officials will be working closely with affected First Nations, Emergency Management Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and other ministries and agencies on the coordinated efforts needed to safely return evacuees to their communities.

Departmental officials also continue to work with Health Canada, First Nations, and other partners to ensure community infrastructure such as hydro, water, and waste water systems are safe and working prior to evacuees returning home. In communities that have been evacuated, this support includes measures to protect assets such as water and wastewater facilities that have had to be idled during the evacuation.

Government of Canada officials have been dispatched to all host communities and are working closely with evacuees and partners to help address immediate needs and to help ensure the health and safety of First Nation members.

In situations such as this, the department will reimburse the Province of Ontario, First Nation communities and host communities for eligible expenses incurred during the evacuation.

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michelle Yao
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan

    Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada