Good day Brothers and Sisters,
As many, if not all, of you already know, Fort McMurray is in a state of evacuation due to the massive wildfires that are ravaging the area. I believe that there isn't one of us who won't be affected in some way. Our Brothers and Sisters, our families, our friends, co-workers and staff are all struggling with devastating effects of these wildfires. Agent Casemore was asked to evacuate and spent most of the late afternoon trying to get out of Fort McMurray. He has just arrived, safe and sound, in St. Albert this morning.
We are already in the works of accessing the International Disaster Fund that will help to cover some of the costs incurred by those Members who are impacted by the fires. Initial assistance can be up to $1500.00 to cover costs such as food and lodging with appropriate documentation (make sure to have your proof of residence in Ft.McMurray and save all receipts!). Once personal damage is known, with proof of loss, additional funds can be provided. We will have more information on how to access these funds over the next few days.
Our thoughts are with those in Fort McMurray today and we hope that no fatalties or serious injuries will be reported as the fire continues to rage on. The effects of the fire are certainly overwhelming, but we must remember that 'things' can be replaced. The lives of our families, our Local 110 family and our friends are more important and must take precedence. I urge you to help as much as you can, in whatever way works for you. It is heartwarming to see the offers of homes, rooms, beds and land to assist our Brothers and Sisters who have been displaced as a result of these fires. Please consider making a donation to the Red Cross if you can. With fires still burning, it is a very real possibility that things may get worse before they get better. We need to stand together and rise above whatever challenges we face. Over the next few days, and for however long it takes, we will be working to give help to those who need it. There is a long road ahead, but we are commited to seeing our Brothers and SIsters through these hards times.
BM Kevin Lecht