OTTAWA – Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, made the following statement about significant wildfires and heavy smoke threatening several communities across the region in Northwestern Ontario, including the community of Pikangikum First Nation:
“I received a request this morning from the Province of Ontario regarding the serious threat of wildfires and heavy smoke across the region of Northwestern Ontario, putting multiple First Nations communities at risk. On behalf of the Government of Canada, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and I, have accepted their formal request for federal assistance to provide immediate evacuation resources to the affected communities. This request from the province includes the deployment of Canadian Armed Forces personnel and transportation support required for the evacuation of members from the community of Pikangikum First Nation to a designated host community.
“The Government Operations Centre has staff working to coordinate the federal response to the situation in Ontario. Officials are working closely with federal and provincial partners. Canadians can be assured that all levels of government are working together to deliver the required help.
I strongly encourage impacted residents to follow the directions and advice of law enforcement and first responders. On behalf of all Canadians, I thank all of the first responders working tirelessly to support Canadians in need.”