TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has made a charitable contribution of C$50 000 to the Red Cross in Alberta, on behalf of members with mining operations active in almost every Canadian jurisdiction. This is to support the families devastated by the wildfire that has ravaged Fort McMurray and surrounding areas.
"Fort McMurray is a major Canadian mining town. MAC members, several of whom are active in the oil sands mining industry, wanted the association to make this gesture of support. Doubtless, countless Canadians and Canadian businesses will be doing the same over the coming days and weeks to help the individuals and families who have lost their homes," stated MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton on Thursday.
The Canadian Red Cross had launched the Alberta Fires Appeal for those wishing to make a financial donation and had mobilised to help the people affected by wildfires in Alberta. Massive wildfires had triggered the largest fire-related evacuation in Alberta’s history.
The federal government would match individual donations to the Canadian Red Cross to help those affected by the wildfire in Fort McMurray. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley also stated that government would match donations.
According to the Alberta government, four communities remained under an evacuation order, with Fort McMurray residents being told not to expect to return home for an extended period. Government stressed that public safety was its number-one priority, and residents would not be able to return home until it was safe to do so.
The Wood Buffalo regional municipality advised that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were escorting southbound convoys of evacuees from sites north of Fort McMurray, as conditions allowed. The process to complete the evacuation was expected to take four days.
Alberta oil sands operators on Thursday further scaled back operations to only critical staff levels as gigantic walls of fire engulfed and devoured entire neighbourhoods in the regional hub of oil sands operations in Fort McMurray.