To help people affected by the wildfires burning around B.C., the Province will match all donations to the Canadian Red Cross, up to $20 million.
The matching funds will be retroactive to donations received since July 3, 2021, when the Red Cross' British Columbia Fires Appeal began.
“This past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us what we can do when we work together, and this is another chance for us to do that,” said Mike Farnworth, B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“The Province continues to support evacuees through Emergency Support Services. By matching Red Cross contributions, donations will go even further to aid community recovery and the Red Cross’ critical work on the ground.”
The federal government is also supporting the Canadian Red Cross’ campaign in B.C. by matching contributions. This means every $1 donated will become $3 to support those affected by wildfires.
“The Government of Canada is, and will continue to be, a strong and active partner to assist people and communities affected by the wildfires in British Columbia,” said Bill Blair, federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
“We are committed to providing a co-ordinated federal response that is also complimentary to existing programs to the residents of Lytton and surrounding communities. We are pleased to join together with British Columbia for this donation-matching campaign encouraging Canadians to contribute with charitable donations to the Canadian Red Cross.”
The Canadian Red Cross works with the Province, local authorities and First Nations leadership to help all people and communities impacted by the wildfires, including the people of Lytton.
This year’s wildfire season started early. The weather is expected to stay dry and hot for the foreseeable future.
“We know people in B.C. and across the country are concerned for those affected by the many current wildfires in our province and the threat of more, and want to find a way to help communities recover. Donating to the Red Cross is a great way to help,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
“Our government is doing everything we can to support firefighters and emergency responders and keep people and communities as safe as possible. The Red Cross provides critical help in emergency situations like this, and it’s important that we support that work.”
Donations will need to be specifically provided to the British Columbia Fires Appeal fund for the Province to match them. Donations to the appeal can be made through the Red Cross as below, as well as in person at BC Liquor Stores and BC Cannabis Stores.
British Columbians wanting to make a financial donation to help those impacted by the B.C. fires can do so:
- online: https://donate.redcross.ca/page/85877/donate/1;
- by calling (toll-free) 1 800 418-1111;
- by texting FIRES to 45678; or
- by contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office.
“This is an incredibly challenging time for individuals and families facing tremendous loss in the Lytton area, as well as communities across the province that are facing the possibility of devastating wildfire impacts this summer,” said Pat Quealey, vice-president, B.C. and Yukon, Canadian Red Cross.
“The B.C. government’s announcement to match donations is very welcome news. We are grateful for this partnership, as well as the generosity of British Columbians and all Canadians whose donations will allow Red Cross to bring relief to people in B.C. who need urgent help and long-term support in their recovery.”
The Province will match donations from individual British Columbians until Dec. 31, 2021.