The Red Cross announces details of its assistance program for Lac-Mégantic

Topics: Quebec, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
July 24, 2013

(Lac-Mégantic, July 24, 2013) – Thanks to the generosity of Canadians and businesses that have so far contributed $7,2 million to assist the Lac-Mégantic community, the Red Cross has developed an assistance program for those affected by the disaster. Today, it announces the details of the program. “This assistance will help vulnerable individuals to get back on their feet and try to put their lives back together. The solidarity it represents will enable the Red Cross to stay on site for as long as it takes,” said Pascal Mathieu, acting Red Cross Director General in Quebec.

Assistance program

The fundraising costs for the Lac-Mégantic Support Fund will not exceed 5 per cent, which means that for every dollar donated, at least 95 cents will go directly to those affected by the disaster. Assistance will be provided on the basis of need to the following groups: individuals and families, businesses, families who have lost loved ones, minor children who have lost one or both parents, organizations, and school and community groups.
Emergency phase Short-term recovery phase Long-term recovery phase
Underway since July 9 Start date: July 23 Meeting the needs that will emerge over the coming months and years
Estimate: $500,000 Estimate: $4,400,000 Estimate: over $2 million, depending on donations
*For details by group for each phase, click here.

Advisory committee membership

The structure of the assistance program is the outcome of consultations with members of the local committee formed to advise and support the Red Cross on fund management and coordination. “For the city of Lac-Mégantic, it was essential for the various initiatives generated across Quebec to be properly coordinated. It is important for us that all the individuals and businesses in our community that were affected by the disaster receive the help they need. We are deeply moved and very grateful for the surge of solidarity in support of our city. We wish to thank all our partners for the work they have contributed as part of a coordinated strategy,” said Colette Roy Laroche, mayor of Lac-Mégantic.
Organization Representatives
City of Lac-Mégantic Colette Roy Laroche, Mayor
Gilles Bertrand, Executive Director
Lac-Mégantic Chamber of Commerce Isabelle Hallé, Executive Director
Du Granit health and social service centre (CSSS) Vicky Orichefsky, CSSS  Director
Janot Gosselin, Community Organizer
MRC du Granit local development corporation (CLD) Michèle Tardif, Executive Director
Lac-Mégantic Employment Centre Charles Rodrigue, Business Adviser
Des Hauts-Cantons School Board Bernard  Lacroix, Executive Director
Community development corporation (CDC) Monique Phérivong Lenoir, Executive Director
Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC/SADC) Ginette Isabel, Executive Director
Department of Public Safety Denis Landry, Director, Recovery
Insurance Bureau of Canada Line Crevier, Information Centre and Technical Affairs Manager

Assistance provided to date

Red Cross volunteers have so far met with 1,213 families: a total of 2,287 evacuees, some of whom still cannot go home, and people who lost their jobs as a result of the disaster. Needs are assessed at individual interviews. More than 4,000 vouchers and debit cards have been distributed; these can be used for such purchases as groceries, clothing and pharmaceuticals. “Red Cross staff and volunteers from all over the province have been working tirelessly, just as if those affected were their own family members. I am proud of the team, and I would like to pay tribute to their exemplary commitment in support of the community of Lac-Mégantic in these difficult times,” added Mathieu. He noted that the Red Cross will be in Lac-Mégantic for months or even years to come, to help meet the needs that emerge over time: “That is why the balance in the fund will be allocated to long-term recovery in support of a return to normal life, both for individuals and for business people and community organizations.”

About the Red Cross in Quebec

The Red Cross acts before, during and after a disaster to meet the needs of those affected. In Quebec, as it does everywhere else, the Red Cross develops prevention programs, helps communities prepare and offers material and humanitarian support to those who have suffered in a disaster. The Red Cross supports local authorities and the Government of Quebec in accordance with their requirements. It is the primary partner in providing assistance to those affected by a disaster.