Friday, May 6, 2016

Alberta Strong

There’s no denying that this has been an exceptionally rough time in Alberta lately. The falling price of oil on the international market has had such a disastrous effect on our economy. People are getting laid off left, right, and center with no real hope of being recalled to work. Add those factors up and you see that unemployment in our Province is at 7.1% according to StatsCan.

This post, however, is not about our battered economy or unemployment rate. This post is about the current monstrosity of a wildfire that is devastating the area in, near, and around Fort McMurray. Such a terrible time for an already bruised and battered people with the economic slump. The fire itself is already posed to be the most costly natural disaster in Canadian history with estimates of $9 billion. Currently the record goes to the 1998 Quebec Ice Storm that cost a total of $1.9 billion with a close following of the 2013 High River Flood (also in Alberta) with a cost of $1.8 billion.

But this post isn’t about money. Nor about politics (of which I tend to shy away from). Or environmental rights and issues. This post is about people. And people helping people. It is a post about pride and honour. The outpouring of support for the evacuated people of Fort McMurray from all corners of the Province, and the country even, is mind blowing and makes my heart swell. It really does show that there is still a lot good in this world, but it’s unfortunate that it takes an event like this to bring it out. Both the Federal and Provincial governments have committed to matching donations made to the Canadian Red Cross to support the families displaced by the fire. Also, 103.9 CISN Country and 92.5 Fresh Radio of the Corus Radio network are taking non-perishable food items to donate to the various food banks around the Edmonton area to support the people affected by the terrible disaster.
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Tragedies like this, and how we pull together to help each other out is one of the many things that make me proud to be Albertan. We saw it in 2011 with the Slave Lake Fire, we saw it in 2013 with the High River Flood, and now during the Fort Mac Fire. We are truly a strong and resilient people. Independence runs through our veins and hard work is no stranger to many of us.

If you would like to help, you can donate to the Canadian Red Cross by texting the word “RedCross” (no spaces) to 30333 or come on down to Corus Radio Edmonton HQ - 5204-84st to fill those Rosenau trailers and get the food items where it needs to go. We’re all in this together. We’re Alberta Strong.



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