From tips to travel, Northerners step up to offer aid to Fort McMurray

The Yukon government is donating $25,000 to the Red Cross, and servers at a pub in Yellowknife are donating their tips to help people affected by the wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta.

Yukon donates $25K to Red Cross, airline flying to oil sands camps with supplies

Jenna Snow (left) and Caitlin Krekoski (right) are servers at the Black Knight Pub in Yellowknife. They're donating their tips today to the Red Cross, to help people displaced by the fires in Fort McMurray, Alta. (Black Knight Pub/Facebook)

Northerners are doing what they can to help people affected by the wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta.

The Yukon government announced Wednesday it will make a $25,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross to support emergency aid relief in Fort McMurray.

Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski announced Wednesday the territory would make a $25,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross to help those affected by the wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta. (Mardy Derby/CBC)
"Our hearts go out to the people of Fort McMurray," said Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski in a statement.

"We encourage Yukoners to donate to support relief efforts in Fort McMurray."

Currie Dixon, the Yukon's minister of community services, said the territory has not been asked to provide firefighting assistance in Alberta.

But he said the Yukon government is co-ordinating with the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre to see how the Yukon may be able to help out with resources such as equipment.

In the N.W.T., staff at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources's Forest Management Division will hold a media teleconference Thursday afternoon to talk about this year's fire season. However, the department noted Wednesday that there are currently no wildland fires burning in the territory.

"As we stand prepared for the upcoming N.W.T. fire season, officials from the Government of the Northwest Territories have already reached out to fire response officials in Alberta to let them know that we are ready to come to their aid," said Premier Bob McLeod in a statement. 

At Yellowknife's Black Knight Pub, waitresses are donating their tips to the Red Cross today, while the city's uptown Your Independent Grocer is also accepting donations to the charity. 

Yellowknife's uptown Your Independent Grocer was accepting donations to the Red Cross Wednesday. (CBC News )

At a meeting today in N.W.T.'s Dehcho region people literally dug into their pockets.

"We're just devastated," said Dehcho Grand Chief Herb Norwegian.

"I've got all the leadership together in one of our communities and some of our elders in the meeting had asked that we pass a plate round so that we can do some collections."

Canadian North flying in supplies to oil sands sites

Canadian North, an airline owned by the N.W.T.'s Inuvialuit Regional Corporation that has contracts with Alberta oil sands producers, said it began transporting people from oil sands sites Tuesday evening.

"We will also be transporting food, water and other supplies into these sites," the company wrote on its Facebook page Wednesday afternoon.

"Our thoughts are with the people of Fort McMurray and surrounding areas who have been impacted by these sudden events. We will work hard to transport those affected, with safety always our number one priority."

Yukon-based Air North announced Wednesday it would be offering 40 per cent off compassionate fares to those affected by the fire, as well as friends and family travelling for support.


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