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FOIC NR 08-01 – April 26, 2008
TORONTO—The Government of Canada is deploying Canadian Forces (CF) aircraft to northern Ontario to assist provincial authorities with the evacuation of residents in Kashechewan, Fort Albany, and possibly other locations along the James Bay and Hudson Bay coastline where water levels are rising rapidly.Helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft will be used to assist Emergency Management Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources, and local officials who began evacuations along the Albany River yesterday.
“The Government’s first priority is the safety and security of Canadians. On any given day, thousands of Forces’ personnel stand ready to help fellow Canadians in times of need,” said the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
“Canada Command was created just over two years ago to ensure a clear focus on Canada and continental North America in terms of Canadian Forces domestic operations,” said Lt.-Gen Marc Dumais, Commander, Canada Command. “My command’s six regional task forces continuously monitor developments in all parts of Canada and remain in close contact with other government authorities.”
Four CH-146 Griffon helicopters, one CH-149 Cormorant helicopter, two CC-130 Hercules aircraft, and approximately 40 CF personnel, mostly air crew, from Canadian Forces bases Borden, Goose Bay, Greenwood, Petawawa, Shearwater, Trenton, and Valcartier, will deploy to northern Ontario.
Evacuated residents will be moved to other communities in the region until it is deemed safe for them to return to their homes.
Joint Task Force Central, headquartered in Toronto and responsible for the Ontario region, is leading Canada Command’s response to Emergency Management Ontario’s request for assistance.
Note to Editors: For more information, please call Lieutenant (Navy) Joseph Frey at 416-633-6200 extension 5501.
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