Ottawa has officially formed an ad hoc cabinet committee to coordinate federal efforts to help the many communities affected by the wildfires raging through British Columbia.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced the committee yesterday morning in Prince George and the committee was officially formed at a cabinet retreat in Nanaimo.
“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the wildfires in British Columbia, and our government is determined to support British Columbians in the wake of this devastation,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a news release. “With this new committee, we will work to address the urgent and long-term impacts of the wildfires, and will collaborate closely with premier Horgan and local authorities to support recovery and rebuilding efforts. I would especially like to thank first responders and all of those who are working hard and putting their lives at risk to help people affected by the wildfires.”
It has also been reported at Trudeau will visit areas impacted by the fires Thursday, however an itinerary has not officially been released.
The Ad Hoc Cabinet Committee on the 2018 BC Wildfires will meet as required to consider and coordinate federal contributions and to support recovery and rebuilding efforts. The committee will complement the on-the-ground efforts coordinated by the Government Operations Centre, and will work in partnership with Indigenous leaders to make sure affected Indigenous communities have the support they need.
The Ad Hoc Cabinet Committee is comprised of:
- Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility (Chair)
- Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence (Vice-Chair)
- Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
- Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
- Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade
- Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services
- Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
- Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
- The Canadian Armed Forces personnel and air assets deployed are part of the Government of Canada’s response to British Columbia’s request for federal assistance.