Canada — Hundreds of Fort McMurray evacuees lined up outside McMahon Stadium on Thursday to pick up debit cards from the province to help them meet their immediate needs.
The pre-loaded cards will provide each adult with $1,250 and each child with $600 for essential items.
Yesterday we began the distribution of debit cards for Albertans who have been displaced. These are one-time emergency payments, said Danielle Larivee, Municipal Affairs Minister. Yesterday, over $7M in financial assistance was provided to more than 6000 people. As expected there were significant lineups at the four distribution centres in Edmonton, our two locations in Calgary and in Lac La Biche.”
On Thursday, the province added an addition location at NAIT in Edmonton for evacuees to pick up debit cards. They are asking people who dont need the funds immediately to wait a few days so those who are really desperate can get the funds they need now.
We have enough debit cards for every eligible evacuee. No eligible evacuee will miss out on the support, said Larivee.
More than 80,000 people are eligible to receive the cards.
Many of the evacuees who showed up to receive financial support say they are pleased with the response to the crisis so far.
“Everybody has been really nice and supportive in Edmonton and Calgary. We’ve been going back and forth,” one man said. “You get choked up, you know. It’s been hard but we’re all still here.”
“Everybody has been generous and helping us,” said a woman. “Giving shelter and food and everything. We’re really thankful for this.”
On Wednesday, the Canadian Red Cross announced it would be dispensing $50M in donations directly to the wildfire evacuees.
Red Cross President and CEO, Conrad Sauve, says $600 per adult and $300 per child, under the age of 18, will be distributed via e-transfer and called it the biggest relief effort undertaken in the organization’s history.
The government program is expected to cost about $100M.
To pick up cards, evacuees need to provide a piece of government-issued photo ID and their Red Cross evacuation number.
Debit Card distribution points have been set up at the following locations:
Edmonton Butterdome, 114 Street 87 Avenue NAIT North Lobby, 11762 – 106 Street NEW May 11, 2:00 pm 8:00 pm May 12-19, 8:00 am 8:00 pm May 20, 8:00 am 12:00 pm
McMahon Stadium, Red & White Club, 1833 Crowchild Trail NW BMO Centre, Calgary Stampede Park, 20 Roundup Way SW May 11, 2:00 pm 8:00 pm May 12-19, 8:00 am 8:00 pm May 20, 8:00 am 12:00 pm
Lac La Biche
Bold Centre, Penalty Box Upstairs, 8702 91 Avenue May 11, 2:00 pm 8:00 pm May 12-13, 8:00 am 8:00 pm
For more information, contact 310-4455 toll-free in Alberta or 1-844-406-3276 toll-free outside Alberta