Saturday, May 28, 2016

MD of Pincher Creek to donate $5000 to Fort McMurray wildfire relief

Josh Davis - During their Tuesday May 24 meeting.Council for the MD of Pincher Creek No. 9 decided to donate $5000 to Alberta Fire Appeal to assist with the efforts in Fort McMurray  “Mr. Reeve the administration has checked into donations going to the Fort (McMurray) disaster through Red Cross, and it’s our understanding that both the province and the Federal Government will match any donations,” said CAO Wendy Kay. “They consider us an individual donation. It’s any organization or person, they will match it.” The donation was prompted by an email to the MD from Acting Mayor of Vancouver Raymond Louie dated May 5, which was tabled for further discussion during Council’s May 10 meeting.

In his email, Acting Mayor of Vancouver Raymond Louie said the following:

“Our colleagues in Fort McMurray, Alberta, are confronted with unimaginable risks, devastation and loss. An estimated 1,600 structures have been burned and more than 80,000 residents forced from their homes.

The municipal sector is banding together to express support and offer help. In the spirit of true partnership, all orders of government are working to address the urgent needs of the community.

The federal and Alberta governments are matching individual donations made to the Red Cross. Please consider making a donation to support Fort McMurray and the surrounding communities.”

Councillor Quentin Stevick was opposed to the MD making a donation. “I have no problems whatsoever with individuals donating money. I feel, as stated previously, that us as a municipal district should not be taking our taxpayers money and sending it outside of the MD,” said Stevick. He added that while he does not oppose donations made by the Federal and Provincial government, he didn’t feel it was appropriate for the MD of Pincher Creek to do the same. “For us as the lowest level of elected officials, I feel it is our responsibility to look after our own taxpayer’s money in a local manner.”

“If we had an issue down here, other MDs, other councils, other places, would help us out,” said Deputy Reeve Terry Yagos.  “I agree,” said Councillor Gary Marchuk. “And also, I spoke with several ratepayers over the weekend regarding this particular issue just to see if there were comments. I asked them about a three to five thousand dollar donation, and how they would feel about that, and they absolutely saw no problem with it. And personally I see no problem with it.”

Marchuk moved that Council donate a total of $5000 from Grants to Groups and Organizations under the miscellaneous line item to the Red Cross. The motion carried 4-1, with councillor Stevick opposed.

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