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Cochrane opens doors to help evacuees

There were about 200 Stage 1 (women, children and needy) evacuees waiting for a place to go
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NEWS RELEASE

TOWN OF COCHRANE

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Cochrane will be receiving 200 evacuees from Kashechewan starting Thursday, Apr. 20, 2017, as part of the precautionary flood evacuation taking place.

The Town declared an emergency today to open the doors (from a regulatory standpoint), to host evacuees from the First Nation Community on the James Bay Coast. 

The declaration engages all services spanning municipal, provincial and federal levels that facilitate the kind of precise organization required to make such an endeavour happen, in such a short period of time. 

After being notified by the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada yesterday, that there were about 200 Stage 1 (women, children and needy) evacuees waiting for a place to go, the Town of Cochrane jumped into action.

Fire Chief and Community Emergency Management Coordinator, Richard Vallée, pointed out that there is an incredible amount of organizing required to make sure there is functional reception, lodging, meals, and management for 200 people evacuated with the bare minimum in essentials. 

Groups like Kunuwanimano Child and Family Services, the Red Cross, the Ininew Friendship Centre, and the Taykwa Tagamou Nation have come together with government services at all levels to plan and prepare to make the stay of our friends from the coast as comfortable and as safe as possible. 

Mr. Vallée stated, “We take helping our friends and neighbours in their time of need very seriously. We have a very competent crew here in Cochrane and we’re all making sure we anticipate and prepare for as much as possible. We treat these folks like their our own families and want them to feel as safe and comfortable as possible”

Cochrane Mayor Peter Politis prefaced the discussion at the Emergency Control Group planning meeting today by stating, “As Northerners, we’re always happy to make ourselves available to help our fellow Northerners in need. As part of our community we’re pulling together with the Taykwa Tagamou Nation and the Ininew Friendship Centre to extend our community’s collective hand in aid. Along with Chief Sutherland and his council, and C.E.O Jack Solomon along with his Board, we stand with our council as community leaders leading together.” 

Mayor Politis went on to say, our community is in terrific hands. "People don’t get to see the level of competence that exists in our community, in action, as some of us are privileged to do. If they did, they would see just how well protected we are. Organizing for 200 people in an evacuation effort in just 24 hours is a challenging endeavour at any time. However, it’s not too big for or emergency management team and they will proudly represent our community as they always do.”

The evacuation is expected to last upwards of 2 weeks.

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