Message from The Prime Minister
Welcome home, Fort McMurray
You have shown incredible patience and tremendous courage over the past several weeks. As you return to your city, I want you to know that, although things may look difficult and uncertain and – at times – perhaps almost hopeless, you are not alone. Canadians are standing with you. You can lean on us, and count on the full, continued support of this government.
Although Fort McMurray’s loss is profound, we will get through this tragedy together. The preparedness and coordinated response from local, provincial, and federal emergency support was immediate and exceptional. The threat of natural disasters is real, and will continue to be an ongoing priority for all levels of government.
All levels of government, Indigenous communities, and non-profit organizations demonstrated exemplary leadership and service at the height of the terrible wildfires, and continue to provide much-needed support as recovery and rebuilding efforts begin.
I thank the heroic first responders who were able to save so much of the city. Hour after hour, day after day, they worked tirelessly to save their neighbours’ homes while sometimes, tragically, losing their own homes.
I spoke with a group of 150 first responders during my visit to Fort McMurray and learned just how many interventions were made. These strategic moments, coupled with the courage and will of first responders, saved entire neighborhoods and large portions of the community. First responders: you are heroes in every sense of the word and you deserve our utmost gratitude.
In the months and years ahead, we will stand with the people of Fort McMurray as they rebuild their community. Our relief efforts will continue to be government-wide and far-reaching. We have expanded Employment Insurance benefits to several western regions, including Edmonton. Our Cabinet Committee on Northern Alberta Wildfires will continue to coordinate federal contributions to rebuilding efforts for the thousands of Canadians affected by the wildfires.
Between May 3rd and May 31st, 2016, the Government of Canada matched every dollar that was individually donated to the Canadian Red Cross in support of the Fort McMurray relief effort. To date, the Canadian Red Cross estimates it has collected over $125 million for wildfire relief. We are tremendously proud of the outpouring of goodwill and compassion from Canadians across the country. Canadians’ generosity has not only been inspirational, but stands as a testament to who we are as a nation.
For many years, Fort McMurray made significant contributions to Canada’s well-being, and to the growth of our economy. Now Fort McMurray needs our help, and I can guarantee, we will be here for you and your community.
We are strong, we are resilient, and together we will rebuild a better future with greater opportunities – the way Canadians always do.