Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 05, 2011 16:58 ET

Statement by the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Public Safety on the Flood Relief Efforts in Manitoba

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 5, 2011) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness issued the following statement today:

"It has been an extremely busy flood season across Canada this spring, and we would like to take this opportunity to express our pride and gratitude to the men and women of the Canadian Forces, who have demonstrated their responsiveness, flexibility and willingness in dealing with calls to protect Canadians and their property from the ravages of nature.

This Government realizes the important impact that our men and women in uniform can have in providing emergency assistance to those in distress. It is for this reason that we continue to deploy the Canadian Forces in a timely manner to those areas of our country in which they are needed. We want to congratulate all who were involved in the relief operation in Souris, as well as those who helped prevent and mitigate damage caused by the flooding of the Assiniboine River earlier this spring. We know the residents of Manitoba are grateful for your efforts.

A total of 375 Canadian Forces members, drawn from the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and Land Force Western Area Primary Reserve courses, assisted the Province of Manitoba in their operations to mitigate the effects of the flood, including the reinforcement of existing dikes and water embankments in the general vicinity of Souris.

More than 1,800 Regular and Reserve Force personnel from the Navy, Army, and Air Force earlier assisted Provincial authorities by conducting extensive repairs to both the Assiniboine River dikes and the Assiniboine Diversion dikes, monitoring dikes on the ground and from the air, evacuating affected residents, producing more than 167,000 sandbags and placing more that 48 per cent of the total of 891,000 sandbags produced in the Province. More than 160 private residences were protected from flooding as a result of CF efforts.

The rapid deployment of the Canadian Forces during these emergencies is an excellent example of how our men and women in uniform are always ready to provide their unique capabilities in service of fellow Canadians in distress.

On behalf of our government and all those Canadians who have been helped by Canadian Forces' efforts this spring, we thank the men and women in uniform."

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