The Red Cross will support free activities being made available to Lac-Mégantic families during the Holidays

Topics: Quebec, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
December 19, 2013

Lac-Mégantic, December 19, 2013 – For many families who lost a loved one in the disaster of July 6, 2013, and for all the other residents of Lac-Mégantic accustomed to seeing the downtown area come to life at this time of the year, the Holiday Season will mark another stage in the grieving process. “In an effort to bring families together, the Red Cross is supporting locally organized activities that residents will be able to attend free of charge,” announced Michel Léveillé, director general of the Red Cross in Quebec. These include a brunch, outdoor activities, movies and a New Year’s Eve party for all age groups. Full details are available (in French) at www.croixrouge.ca/megantic.

“The Holiday season will provide an opportunity for many of us to spend time with those near and dear to us. These activities are welcome, and I’m sure the people of Lac-Mégantic will be attending these free family activities in large numbers,” said Colette Roy-Laroche, mayor of Lac-Mégantic.

The Red Cross continues to provide recovery assistance

Six months will soon have gone by since the tragedy devastated the community of Lac-Mégantic. The Red Cross was on-site immediately after the event, and has helped numerous families get back on their feet. Every day, between 35 and 50 residents come to its assistance centre set up behind the sports centre. “It is important for us to meet with people regularly to address new needs and adapt our assistance program accordingly,” explains Michel Léveillé.

An adaptable assistance program

In just under 6 months, close to 65 % of the funds dedicated to short-term recovery efforts have already been spent, committed, or invested, amounting to over $5M.  With the help of an advisory committee, the Red Cross ensures that its assistance program is adapted to the population’s changing needs. A program component has been added in order to extend assistance to those still in need: for example, individuals who have lost their livelihood as a result of the disaster, and have not found a new job. “The Red Cross promised the people of Lac-Mégantic that it would be around to help them for as long as necessary. We have to make sure we can keep that promise,” noted the Quebec director general.

About the Red Cross in Quebec

The Red Cross is active before, during and after a disaster to address the needs of those affected. In Quebec, as it does everywhere else, the Red Cross develops prevention programs, helps communities prepare for disasters, and provides humanitarian and material support to those who have lost everything as the result of a disaster. The Red Cross supports local authorities and the Government of Quebec as required and is their primary partner in disaster response.