Monday, May 16, 2011

Slave Lake Disaster

Slave Lake is on fire. Thankfully no lives have been lost, but the destruction is already widespread, with many homes, the library, the mall and the town hall already burned down and the hospital and high school threatened. Thousands are already homeless.

I've never been to Slave Lake, but I've often feared that a fire could one day destroy all my possessions. The loss of furniture and the like wouldn't be so bad, but I'd be devastated to lose my books, and completely at sea if I lost my photographs and home videos. Right now the people of Slave Lake are living that nightmare.

My boss, Dr. David Swann, just released a statement that I think captures the feelings of most Albertans today:
Statement from David Swann,
Leader of the Official Opposition
Slave Lake Fires
May 16, 2011

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Slave Lake, who at this moment are enduring the worst natural disaster to ever hit their community – indeed, one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit this province. Thankfully no lives have been lost, and for that I commend the men and women fighting the wildfires, emergency services workers, and most of all the people of Slave Lake, who have reacted with calm, intelligence and determination.

Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition stands with Premier Stelmach to ensure that those affected by the fires will receive the help they need as quickly as possible.

Already Albertans across the province are coming together to provide support. We remind all Albertans that the Red Cross is accepting donations to help displaced residents of Slave Lake. You can donate by calling 1.800.418.1111.

In times of crisis, Albertans never fail to unite as one people. Together, we will get through this; together, we will rebuild.
I don't know anyone in Slave Lake, but my thoughts are certainly with my fellow Albertans today and in the hard days to come.

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