Blaine Calkins
Member of Parliament for Red Deer - Lacombe

2016-05 (May)

Blaine Calkins MP Report - Alberta Strong 

Alberta is a province that has been built on hard work, determination and sacrifice.  We have compassion and we pitch in to help
our neighbour when they need it – this is all on display as we watch the events unfold in Ft. McMurray.

The devastating wild fires in Ft. McMurray have profoundly impacted people and families all across our province and our country.  The outpouring of support and acts of
selflessness that I have witnessed from my fellow Albertans and Canadians has impacted me in the deepest way.  As a Parliamentarian I strive every day to bring about the best change possible, but
some things are out of our control.

When something of this magnitude occurs in our communities, provinces or country it is important to recognize the folks that put their lives on the line to ensure
that others are safe.  The front line workers that are working around the clock to fight the fires or tend to the sick, injured or hurt and the police officers going door-to-door to make sure
no one is trapped and they are evacuating; showcases the compassion and determination we have as Albertans and Canadians.

However, in times like these it is not just the front line first responders that make sacrifice, the mounting number of people in Alberta who have set aside their own struggles
to jump in and answer the call to help those displaced with fuel, food, water or shelter has been simply amazing.

In the coming weeks and months in the aftermath of this devastating tragedy people and families will being to pick up the pieces and start to rebuild their lives.  We can replace cars and rebuild homes
but we can’t replace lives.  It is truly a miracle and a testament to the skill and quick response of those battling the fires that we have not lost one person directly to the wild fires.

When we are faced with tragic moments such as this our nature is to want to help and do what we can for those people and families in need.  This is something that sets us apart in this
world.  Currently there are many initiatives being undertaken to help people out with food, shelter and money.  The Canadian Red Cross has begun a campaign to help the people of Ft. McMurray and our provincial government
along with our federal government have committed to matching any donations given to the Red Cross.  I would encourage anyone who wants to donate to do so through the Canadian Red Cross ( ).

The pull-together nature of Albertans and Canadians during catastrophic events such as these wild fires is on full display and I couldn’t be more proud of those who are putting their lives on the line and on hold to help those in need right
now in Ft. McMurray and the surrounding areas.

To the hundreds of crews fighting the fires I want to personally thank you, your actions will never be forgotten. 

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Blaine Calkins - Member of Parliament for Red Deer - Lacombe