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Alberta promises $500K for Haiti recovery

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach promised $500,000 for earthquake relief in Haiti, a day after indicating the province wouldn't be directly donating to an aid agency.
A doctor from the Chinese emergency rescue team, left, treats an injured child in Port-au-Prince.

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach promised $500,000 for earthquake relief in Haiti, a day after indicating the province wouldn't be directly donating to an aid agency.

Stelmach announced the donation to the Red Cross following a swearing-in ceremony for his new cabinet in Edmonton on Friday morning.

"We're going to send $500,000 to begin with. Secondly we are prepared to send any resources that we can, whether it be in health or in emergency management," he said. "We will work with the Red Cross … so that we get the best effort in place to ensure that we're looking after as many people as we can."

Provinces, territories donating directly to relief efforts in Haiti

  • Yukon: $25,000.
  • British Columbia: $500,000.
  • Alberta: $500,000.
  • Manitoba: $100,000.
  • Saskatchewan: $250,000.
  • Ontario: $1 million.
  • Nova Scotia: $100,000.
  • New Brunswick: $100,000.
  • Prince Edward Island: $50,000.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $1 million.

On Thursday, when asked how Alberta planned to help in Haiti, Stelmach told reporters that Alberta contributes to humanitarian aid in other ways, through grants and charitable tax deductions.

The province provides a tax credit of 10 per cent on the first $200 in eligible charitable donations made in a tax year and, through its Community Spirit Program, an additional 21 per cent on donations that exceed $200 and go to charities registered or incorporated in Alberta.

"That is the best tax deduction in Canada, so those that want to contribute to humanitarian aid will see that tax credit," Stelmach said.

At the time, Stelmach encouraged Albertans to open their wallets.

"Albertans that want to contribute and help thousands, literally thousands, of people in Haiti, [should] get a hold of the Red Cross," he said. "It's an organization that is very well organized and can focus the monetary help that we'll be able to provide to Haiti and make sure that it gets to the people."

The federal government is earmarking up to $50 million to match Canadians' donations to eligible charitable organizations in the country.

The Red Cross estimates that between 45,000 and 50,000 people might have died in the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.

The Alberta government donated $5 million to the Red Cross in 2004 to help victims of the December tsunami that killed about 230,000 people in 14 Asian and African countries.

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