In addition to financial assistance from the province, Fort McMurray evacuees will be getting $50 million immediately from the Red Cross. That means $600 per adult and $300 per child, on top of the $1,250 and $500 coming from the Alberta government. Canadian Red Cross president and CEO Conrad Sauve says this is just the first step in helping those displaced.
“This is the most important cash transfer we have done in our history, and the fastest one. The combination of both the ability to raise money very fast in Canada and also using these electronic means to transfer money directly to the hands of those affected.”
In total, $67 million has been raised so far, and that doesn’t account for matching commitments from both the provincial and federal governments. The funds will be e-transfered to families who have registered with the Red Cross, and registration is still open.
As for provincial funds, Premier Rachel Notley says debit cards are available at locations in Edmonton, Calgary and Lac La Biche, with more to be added in the coming days.
“If you don’t need emergency funding immediately, please let those in desperate need be first in line. That way, we can distribute the debit cards as quickly and efficiently as possible. Be assured that the funding will not run out.”
Notley says she’s know it’s difficult to not yet have a timeline on when they can return home, but she doesn’t want to give a date prematurely and have it be delayed.