It seems that every few years an event happens that truly unifies our country. Sidney Crosby scoring the Golden Goal in Vancouver. Jose Bautista throwing his bat to the heavens. There are moments in our country’s history that you can just feel. Moments where Canadians rally together in support of a common cause. Unfortunately it feels like we are currently experiencing one of these moments.
“Unfortunately” because it does not involve goals being scored. “Unfortunately” because it does not involve bats being tossed. Instead, it involves over 100,000 Canadians in Northern Alberta going through what will likely be the most trying test of their lives.
The city of Fort McMurray, as well as many surrounding small towns and oil camps, have been devastated by wildfires now covering over 505,000 hectares that began May 1st. With a mandatory evacuation order in place for the entire area, many of the thousands of evacuated residents are currently living in temporary situations that are far from ideal. And it is not only humans who have been affected. As of May 15th, the Alberta SPCA had checked in 1,106 rescued animals to an improvised warehouse holding facility in Edmonton.
With a task as daunting as relocating an entire city of residents and their pets, it is taking an incredible team of relief workers and emergency personnel working together to pull it off. Who are these silent heroes? Many of them are simply fellow Canadians who are responding to Canada’s most recent unifying moment. They are Canadians who know exactly what to do at a time like this when our country needs to rally together once again for a common cause. Get involved.
The relief workers and emergency personnel who are able to be on site are doing what they can to help our fellow countrymen as they sort out the chaos that these past few weeks have brought. Those of us who are not able to be there in person have other opportunities to get involved and provide support.
As a responsible corporate citizen, we believe we have a responsibility to give back to our community, our country and fellow Canadians. As such, Elmira Pet Products will be donating funds to support the Red Cross of Canada as well as the Alberta SPCA. Our contribution to assist the residents of Northern Alberta and their pets is just a small part of the huge outpouring of support that has been seen over the past month.
As time has progressed we have already begun to see the glimmers of hope that have risen out of the ashes. Families are being reunited and taken in by generous citizens of nearby towns and cities. Pets are slowly being returned to their owners after specialised crews are being granted permission to rescue pets that were left behind in the frantic mass exodus. These early stories provide just a glimpse down the long road to recovery that the city of Fort McMurray and surrounding towns now face.
Canadians are labelled with many stereotypes but one that we can be proud of is that we are a country filled some of the kindest and most caring people in the world.